What percentage of the board should be helping to raise money?

Here’s another question I received during my webinar Six New Rules for Board Members in Changing Times. (I’m repeating the webinar on July 16 because the June session sold out.)

Many people wonder exactly what board members need to be doing in fundraising. The entire area is undefined unfortunately.  The pundits say “everybody on the board should be out there raising money.”

But the reality is quite different.  People who serve on nonprofit boards are, in fact, volunteers. That means you can’t MAKE them do anything!  You can only ask them and motivate them.

So it’s hard to say exactly how many of your board members should be fundraising. Every board is different.

I think that looking for exact percentages is tough.  If you expect a certain percentage, then you may place an unnecessary burden on yourself if your board is not performing up to some formal “standard.”

The real problem is that there are no set rules or standards for nonprofit boards.  They have some very general legal requirements set out by law. But nothing very specific. We have some informal rules of thumb and best practices that we share together.

The Rule of Threes.  From my standpoint, I usually see board members fall into groups of threes. One third of the board is action oriented, works hard, delivers results, and takes responsibility.  And often a third of the board is pretty much a waste when it comes to anything.

The middle third of the board can be swayed either way. The action-oriented group can pull them along, and the “do-nothing” crowd can also infect them with a passive attitude.

So I usually see about a third of the board willing and able to shoulder some fundraising responsibilities.

But I have to tell you that my “Easy Fundraising for Board Members” system of educating board members about fundraising really can motivate the whole board.  I just show them how to make it all about “friendraising” – and how to make it fun.

All of my blog posts and articles describe my approach. You can use these ideas too – I promise they can literally transform your board’s fundraising performance – and your life.