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I’m often asked, “How do we get our board to help us with fundraising?” I actually think people are asking the wrong question. I believe the question is: “What should we do differently to cause board engagement?”

And my answer is: Not all of your board members should or are able to help you ask for financial gifts. If you want them to speak about your organization with passion, sharing stories about those you serve, invite others to do specific things AND feel great about their board experience, then YOU have to make sure to support them and communicate clearly how they can best serve.

My motto when it comes to working with your nonprofit’s board is this:

“It is 100% staff responsibility for board members to be great. AND 100% board responsibility to do what we said we’d do.”

So how do you make sure your board is great? To start with, communication. It is the key to creating a board experience that’s interesting, exciting, and enjoyable.

There are many, many good resources to help you train, excite, and engage your board. Taking time to add in some professional development training for THEM is as important as it is to add in time to train your staff.

Where do you begin?

First, I’d like to invite you to join me for my upcoming webinar Change Your Board Story – How to be An Awesome Nonprofit Board Member. We’ll discuss everything board member expectations to recruitment to five questions every board member should ask. And that’s only the beginning! They’ll also be time for a lively Q&A, so I can help you with your specific board.

Another resource I’d like to point you to Mission Possible: Your Workbook for a Successful Board, which is a FREE resource booklet you can download. It’s a set of some of my favorite worksheets and templates to help you create an amazing board experience AND cause board engagement all year-long.

My mission is to help you raise more money from individual donors. My vision is that you do that with genuine ease & joy! And I know that having a fully-engaged, passionate board is a giant step toward that goal.

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Lori Jacobwith
Lori L. Jacobwith, founder of Ignited Fundraising, is a nationally-recognized master storyteller and fundraising culture change expert. With 30 years’ experience, her strategies and coaching have helped nonprofit organizations raise nearly $300 million dollars from individual donors. And counting. The Giving Show has recognized her as one of the top 40 most effective fundraising consultants in the U.S.