Have all of your board members made a financial gift to your organization this year?

I believe in 100% board giving for lots of reasons.

One reason is that grant funders want to know. Foundations will often ask questions like this:

"Did every board member personally contribute financially to your organization in the most recently completed financial year?"

And then, there's this:

"If less than 100% of your board members made personal financial contributions to your organization last year, explain why."

HOW MUCH DOES YOUR BOARD GIVE?

Beyond the 100% question, another question you'll sometimes see in grant applications is some variation of this:

"How much money did your board personally contribute to the organization in the last fiscal year?"

Clearly, this answer will vary from organization to organization.

Plus, the capacity to give will vary from person to person. And that's 100% okay.

BOARD GIFTS AS "STRETCH GIFTS"

I like how Kay Sprinkle Grace talks about board giving.

If you don't know Kay, she's one of the most respected voices in fundraising. She's spent more than 40 years in the sector, and she's written some of the industry's true "must-reads."

In her most recent book, Transforming Your Board into a Fundraising Force, Kay says

"I am a staunch advocate of 100% board giving at a level that is a stretch."
"What is a stretch? It is a gift that is larger than a person might otherwise give. Let nominees know at the outset that you expect them to give at this level. If they use the 'time is money' response, reconsider their suitability as a board member."

Kay goes on to suggest this:

"Your goal very well could be a board where one-third of the members have your organization as their top philanthropic priority, another third for whom your organization is in their top three, and a final third for whom your work is important but your organization isn't in their top-tier yet."

THE BOTTOM LINE

You want every board member to make a personally meaningful gift to your organization, every year.

While the individual amounts will vary, encourage your board members to give at a level that they consider a personal stretch for them.

Personal giving - and giving a just little bit more while they're a board member - is one indicator of their commitment to your organization.

And whatever the amount your board members choose to give, make sure their gifts add up to 100% board giving every year.

Photo credit(s): Pixabay


Looking for a recommendation on which book from Kay Sprinkle Grace you need to read? Laura Rhodes can help.

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