Board members are among the most important—if not the most important—supporters an organization has. While they agree to serve with the goal of assisting the organization, it incumbent on the organization itself to continually ask: how can we make board service fulfilling?
One key to success is to treat board members as individuals—with unique interests, priorities, goals, and needs—rather than as a group.
Like any major donor, each board member deserves a personalized engagement plan that brings them closer to the mission and enables them to make a difference in areas of interest.
A best practice is to arrange a private meeting at least annually with each board member, a board executive, and a staff member (either the CEO/ED or a member of the fundraising team).
The purpose of this meeting is to learn:
What was fulfilling about the past year of service?
What would the board member like to experience or do more of in the coming year?
What impact would the board member like to make through their outreach and philanthropy?
This guide provides a sample form that can be used to guide such a conversation.
The staff member in attendance uses this form to capture the board member’s interests and ideas
The form is not handed out to board members to complete on their own
However, the final page—a pledge form—can be separated and given to the board member to complete, either during the meeting or on their own after the meeting
As relationships deepen, you may not need to explore all these questions every year. However, the form will serve as a reminder to staff that it is our responsibility as fundraisers to:
Understand board members’ objectives
Follow-up and follow-through on plans made together
Download the Guide
By providing your email address, you consent to receive emails from Aperio. Thank you for joining our growing community of nonprofit fundraising professionals.