I sure have.
We bought right into the myth without even realizing what we were doing.
What myth? The Myth of Boards. It goes like this: “People who sit on nonprofit Boards know what to do and they should help with fundraising.”
Think about it: how many times have you been frustrated with your Board because they won’t do their job? They won’t help with your events. They won’t introduce you to their friends. They don’t seem to want to make eye contact with you when you start talking about fundraising.
You know what I’m talking about. There’s a reason they’re behaving this way. Let me explain.
People who say “yes” to serving on your Board are good-hearted people, and they probably love your mission. In fact, they probably said “yes” because they want to help and they want to make a difference.
Unfortunately, they don’t know squat about serving on a Board.
Without a solid understanding, they’ll gravitate to whatever looks familiar, easy, or fun. That’s why some want to talk about the napkin color for the upcoming gala, and others want to micromanage. They’re in their comfort zone and they’re not planning on coming out.
When you expect your Board to help with fundraising when they don’t understand how good fundraising works, it’s like chasing a unicorn. You’re never going to catch it because it doesn’t exist.
Want to help your Board become a group of fired-up Ambassadors for your cause, and WILLING to help raise money? It’s pretty simple really. Teach them.
There’s no Board police to show up and write your Board members a ticket for not doing their job. If you want your Board to be different, you need to take the initiative and do whatever you need to do to help them learn to do their job well.
Like I always say, a little education goes a long way.
Teach them about their roles and responsibilities. Help them understand what a Board does and doesn’t do. Explain fundraising to them in some simple terms that they can grasp. Show them you’re there to support them to be successful.
I know you may be annoyed at the thought of training your Board, but what happens if you don’t? You can keep doing what you’ve been doing, and you’ll get what you always got. If you want something different, you must DO something different.
I’m convinced that if you want to help more people, you need to raise more money. And to do that, you need your Board to help.
You CAN have a great Board – a Board that raises money, spreads your message, advocates your mission, supports your staff and is fully engaged and excited about their role with the nonprofit.
Want more help moving your Board in the right direction? Check out my new (and free!) video series called “Build Your Best Fundraising Board Ever!” http://getfullyfunded.com/