Criteria For New Board Members

By James A. Donovan • April 27th, 2017

In this Blog I answer the question most asked of me during my 40+ years in fundraising.  It is:  “What is the criteria we should have for new board members?  We need to be more effective in our fundraising.  What should we look for?”

My response has always been the same.  Look for the 3 C’s.  That is people with:

Clout
Cash
Connections

Clout

Board members with Clout can get the door open for you.  They can get phone calls and email responses as they have clout as a business owner, wealthy investor or high ranking corporate position for a top employer in your community.  Generally, having clout means others have a hard time saying “no” to them.

Cash

Wealthy board members, that is those with cash/substantial assets, are respected by those they ask to give.  The prospect realizes that the board member worked hard to earn his/her wealth and respects that.  People respect the fact that your organization was able to earn the respect/concern of a wealthy person to make time to advance your mission.

Connections

In every community there are five key persons who have the most connections to others in business, government and wealth management.   Do your best to identify and enlist one of these persons to serve on your board and that will enable you to make connections with potential new donors, board and committee members.  It’s a ranking system.  We all have experienced it.  You get a call from the CEO of a major bank and you say, “he’s calling me?”  And of course you take the call.

As you try to broaden your leadership and clout, be careful not to be too pushy.  If you are overly aggressive, that could be seen as running scared.  Given the competition for recruiting good board members with the three C’s, be politely aggressive and always remember to tell the person you respect their time and you plan to keep your meeting with him/her short.

Please feel free to comment on this Blog below and view previous Blogs on various topics by clicking the “Past Posts” drop down at the top right of this post.

 

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