This is my second post of the day. The first one was the traditional “O.D. Fridays at DonorDreams blog” where we focus on an organizational development concept generated by John Greco’s blog “johnponders ~ about life at work, mostly”. Today, we talked about non-profit competition. I hope you got a chance to read it because we took off in some interesting and unexpected directions.
This second post is simply a follow-up to yesterday’s post titled “Do you understand your resource development roles and responsibilities“. There were pop quiz questions in yesterday’s post, and I promised you the answers today.
The following are answers to yesterday’s poll questions along with brief explanations:
- Question #1: “Who officially signs grant agreements?” Two-thirds of respondents answered this question correctly when they said it is the board president who signs grant agreements. While it is true that overall board approval may be necessary to execute some agreements, the actual signature comes from the board president. The reason it shouldn’t be the executive director is: 1) this is a contract committing your agency to doing something and 2) think of it as a system of “checks-and-balances” that guarantee staff can’t commit the organization to things without the board agreeing to it.
- Question #2: “Who is the most effective at building relationships and providing stewardship with donors?” Thank goodness we have 100% consensus that the answer to this question is “The Full Board”. Personal stewardship visits by board members with your agency’s top donors is effective in promoting donor loyalty especially if those board volunteers are talking about how the donor’s charitable contribution made a difference. However, please note that staff play a major role in this process, too. They support board members in making these visits. This sometimes means providing materials and stories. It also means managing the process and reminding board members when it is time to pick-up the phone. It also might mean going along for a ride and visiting the donor together.
- Question #3: “Who is responsible for raising the operating budget?” Again, we achieved 100% consensus around the correct answer that it is “The Entire Board” who is responsible for raising the money and ensuring the budget is achieved. Again, there is a BIG BUT here . . . the board hires staff to assist and support their efforts. So, any executive director or fundraising professional who thinks that falling short on fundraising goals won’t get them in trouble is delusional.
How do you keep your non-profit board from becoming “unaligned” when it comes to clarity around board-staff roles & responsibilities in the area of fundraising? Do you use certain tools (e.g. an annual board re-commitment pledge, etc)? Can you share those ideas and tools with your fellow readers? Are there particular strategies that you use (e.g. resource development planning process, etc)?
Please scroll down to the comment section and share your thoughts, tools, and approaches with your fellow non-profit professionals. We can all learn from each other.
Here’s to your health!
Founder & President, The Healthy Non-Profit LLC