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Fundraising Overview

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Questions donors ask when getting direct mail

Why $25 Gifts Are Important


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Starting A Nonprofit


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Links & Resources


Board of Director's Resources


Building a better board and getting your board more deeply involved in your organization are two of the top priorities a nonprofit organization will face. Board members should be goodwill ambassadors for your cause, should support your organization both financially and with their time, and should be among your strongest supporters.

Many small non-profit organizations, especially those just starting out, make the mistake of only putting founding members and current volunteers on their board. Although this may be your only option at first when creating your non-profit, it's important to expand your board as your organization grows.

One of the most essential people in your fundraising process is the Chairman of the board. The chair will be instrumental in creating an effective board, motivating members, and insuring that goals and commitments are met. The chairman will be responsible of overseeing the planning process, soliciting board members for contributions, appointing members to committees, and making solicitation visits to major donors, corporations, and foundations. Their first responsibility will be to motivate board members and insure that they understand the need for a development effort and the strategies involved.

Fundraising is the responsibility of each board member, and should include a personal donation each year. Board members are advocates and solicit funds on behalf of the cause. New board members should be apprised of their financial participation before they are elected. Many organizations adopt such information into the by-laws and by-laws should also clearly specify how many board members the board should have and how long board terms are to be held.

Although legitimate concerns of current board members should be dealt with as you expand and enter a development effort, do not postpone or cancel efforts waiting for members to come around. Most board members only need to be educated to see that a development plan is the only way to insure the success of the organization. When all attempts to educate certain board members have failed, it may be necessary to suggest resignation.

The ideal board would have a representative from each of the following:



Banker (Trust Officer)

Largest Corporate Employer in your area

Professional Person (doctor, dentist)

Representative from your service area

Religious Leader

Small Business Man (printer would be ideal)

Local Foundation

Civic Group Leader

Public Relations / Media Expert

Your Executive Director


Three ways to welcome a new board member:

One: Before their first meeting, give them a tour of the facility (if you have one) and lunch with the board president and executive director. If you haven't already done so this is a good time to talk over what they would like to learn, to accomplish and what experiences they would like to have as a board member.

Two: At their first meeting, pass out a resume or biography of the new member. 

Three: The board president or other officer can call the new member the day after their first meeting to solicit reactions, discuss ways the new member can be involved, and just make a personal connection.

The following are a few documents to help you build a better board. Download the .pdf documents to read more...

Questions board members should ask themselves

Conflict of Interest Policy For Board Members


The following are some other resources for your board of directors - Helping you build a better board





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