Your nonprofit organization is dedicated to fundraising—or at least, it should be. In order to make sure that raising money is a top priority, you have a fundraising committee on your board of directors. The purpose of this committee is to work with the development staff and encourage fundraising. There are some items you can look at to make sure they are fulfilling their purpose. An exceptional fundraising committee:
- Has enthusiasm for fundraising: This is probably obvious, but nevertheless crucial to mention. Your fundraising committee needs to be wholeheartedly committed to fundraising. They should do more than simply oversee development staff and report on numbers. You can tell if your board fundraising committee is passionate about fundraising if they actually do it and if they consistently encourage board members to do so as well.
- Holds the board accountable: Everyone in your nonprofit needs to be involved in fundraising. While some board members may want to do nothing more than write checks to your organization, they need to be in attendance at board meetings and regularly reach out to advocate for your cause. They need to be held accountable for their fundraising efforts, and it falls upon your fundraising committee to follow up with them.
- Focuses on what is important: Your fundraising committee needs to be focused on all aspects of fundraising, not just one or two. One thing that boards often focus too much on is planning special events. While events are important, your meetings should not be absorbed in discussions about the decorations or what celebrity is invited. Many other aspects are at least as important to discuss, such as whether the board members are asking for donations and what new prospects have been found.
- Works with the development director: Your development director does not work for the fundraising committee, but with They need to work together as a team to set goals and make agendas for your organization’s fundraising.
- Is always there: How is their attendance at monthly meetings? They should at least have a representative present to report on goals and to follow up with the board. In addition, they ought to be present to encourage and inspire the rest of the board. Board meetings are the ideal place to do that, especially since development should always be on your agenda.
If your fundraising committee is doing all these things, then you are in great shape. If not, then there is certainly room for improvement. Remember, their purpose is to make fundraising happen throughout your organization, not just report on it.