Once Again: Who Should Be Involved in Fund Development and How?
Updated & Revised
By Eugene Fram Free Digital Photo
This is a perennial issue. Following are suggestions that can clarify questions related to it.
The Board of Directors
• Board members should provide an annual donation, be able to generate contributions from other sources or donate time. (“give or get” policy).
• Even if cash donations are modest, 100% of board members should make a financial and/or support contribution each year. Funders look at this percentage as a surrogate measure of board interest and involvement in the organization.
• Two type of of board members should be directly involved in development. One is the talented person who is highly comfortable with the development process. The other is the person who may lead other board members to unknown sources. For example: relatives, neighbors, college friends, etc. who can contribute. At least three or four board members need to be in the former category. All board members are obligated to alert the CEO to other leads they may encounter and assist with introductions, if appropriate.
The CEO and the Board
• There needs to be a robust partnership between the board and CEO if there is to be effective and efficient fund-raising. The CEO should act as a lookout for fund development potentials and then alert board chair to support his/her activities, after the board has approved the project and is prepared to make a proposal.
• If the CEO is going to assume the lead role in approaching prospects, it may important that the person have the president/CEO title.
• With the aid of legal counsel, establish a development foundation. It needs to have its own small board and a volunteer as its leader. The board needs to have full understanding that the parent board is responsible for fund expenditures. Otherwise conflicts can arise between the two boards on fund deployments. A foundation can also be helpful current traumatic conditions because its total focus is on fund development.
Where’s the reference to the Development Professional? This Executive role is central to the Program’s operational success or failure.
Mr. Quin: I was only trying to talk about the relationship between the two principals. Many nonprofits operate without a Development Professional or only have a minimally competent one. I agree that a highly competent Development Officer should be cherished. Possibly even be paid at a top scale level. Occasionally,such a person might productively be paid at a higher salary than the ED!! This is not unusual in the startup business world where revenue producing people are paid more than the president!!