Wednesday Nov 16, 2022

Should fundraisers let their board members off the hook?

Stephanie Schwartz is the Founder and CEO of Little Bean Group, a fundraising consultancy in Washington, DC. Stephanie loves to work with leaders who want to dream big and who recognize that fundraising is often the path by which their dreams come to fruition. Stephanie affords her clients the benefit of extensive experience in both education and advocacy. In today’s conversation, Stephanie challenges us to change our expectations of board members and not necessarily, as I often say, “letting them off the hook” but thinking strategically about where they can most effectively contribute to the overall fundraising effort.

Stephanie and I agreed that today’s nonprofit leaders are wise to distinguish between the ways and means that a fundraiser can shine versus where board members have similar opportunities. Stephanie wants us to grasp that, for the majority of our board members, this means finding ways to be engaged in fundraising that don’t necessitate an ask. It also means abandoning the myriad of overly prescriptive responsibilities that we often assign them. Experience has taught many of us that these formulas often translate into less than desirable experiences for our board members and a lot of frustration and disappointment for ourselves.

As always, we are especially grateful to our friends at CueBack for sponsoring The Fundraising Talent Podcast.

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