Q&A on board fundraising with CNM expert Jennifer Chalos

March 1, 2017

Q&A on board fundraising with CNM expert Jennifer Chalos

CNM fundraising expert Jennifer Chalos is moderating a breakout session panel at Bridge to Excellence: "War Room Tactics: Real-life Board Fundraising." Learn about her perspective to board fundraising in the conversation below:


Q: Why is the subject of board fundraising important in a nonprofit’s overall development strategy?

A: Board members can play a critical role in engaging the community and in encouraging support of a nonprofit. By nature, they are the tentacles to the community and often represent a variety of professions, audiences, and spheres of influence that can and should greatly impact a nonprofit's fulfillment of their mission. A board's connections to others should be harnessed by a nonprofit to deliver messages that increase awareness, invite involvement and support, and educate the public.

The board is also a key driver for goal attainment. It's part of their responsibility as a governing body to ensure that revenue goals are met.


Q: What do you think is one of the most common roadblocks preventing nonprofit executives from engaging board members on a deeper level?

A: There are a number of potential roadblocks that I hear reported. From the nonprofit executive's perspective, time to meaningfully engage the board may be the number one issue. Having an organized approach to board engagement in fundraising might be a close second. I often remind nonprofit clients that there are four key activities in development:

1. Introductions/making connections

2. Engaging prospects and donors

3. Asking for donations

4. Thanking/stewardship.

It's not just about "making the ask" which can be off-putting or intimidating to some board members -- it's frankly not the best fit for all board members. Reminding board members of these four activities helps them to see how they can be supportive (and successful) to a nonprofit's development strategy. 


Q: What do you hope attendees will learn from this session?

A: I hope that attendees will learn that development is about building and deepening relationships. Success is achieved when a strategy can be built around the idea that all constituents of a nonprofit can play a role in development, if the focus in on attaining, maintaining, and sustaining relationships between a nonprofit and the community.


More information about Jennifer's Bridge to Excellence session:

"War Room Tactics: Real-life Board Fundraising"

Board fundraising can make a huge difference to your nonprofit, but it can also feel like an uphill battle. How can you motivate your board to “make the ask,” or get involved in other development tactics? In this panel discussion moderated by fundraising expert Jennifer Chalos, hear real-life stories and strategies about how to engage your board in fundraising. Panelists will include board members and nonprofit leaders from organizations of various sizes and types – from education and health to social services and the arts – who will share their own experiences and successes.

Learn more at the May 11 Bridge to Excellence nonprofit conference "The Science of Social Change: How To Fund It and How To Sell It." Click here for more information and registration.

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