To begin with, most NGOs/nonprofits require boards of directors that are generous in giving and effective in fundraising. In rare cases, there is a revenue model, or possibly an endowment, that is so financially robust that no additional funds are required in order to achieve the mission (the organization's compelling purpose) or the vision (the organization's greatest potential to improve the world). But for the vast majority of nonprofits, donated funds -- especially unrestricted dollars -- make it possible for the organization to provide valuable services in improving our communities and our world, whether in education, healthcare, economic development, social justice, the arts, or the environment.
Nonprofit boards have many important roles and responsibilities which I address in numerous posts. Furthermore, board members can be valuable in helping to generate revenues in many ways other than simply giving and fundraising. For example, board members can improve an organization's fortunes by providing expertise in pricing strategies, guidance in accessing public funds, or access to pro bono services.
In this post, however, I want to focus specifically on giving and fundraising. I have three observations.
- Your best donors are probably right under your nose. Frequently, I see nonprofit executives and board leaders eagerly seeking to find that "rich person" who's on everyone else's board. The wish is that the person will come on your board, give a whopper of a gift, perhaps bring her pals, and boom! The problem is that that person is already committed. Even if she comes on your board, it's often the case that most of her philanthropic dollars are already allocated, and she's previously asked her friends to give elsewhere. What I've observed, however, is that there are likely to be people among the organization's own board, advisory committee, or smaller donors who are able to give more -- often significantly. You simply need to identify them, find a way to engage them more deeply, and ask.
My final comment is for board members, members of advisory councils, and anyone who is committed to a cause. Volunteering your time is tremendously valuable; I've devoted my life to service. But money matters! Nonprofits depend on your generosity to achieve their important work in building a better world.
How to vote
Vote-by-mail ballot request deadline: Varies by state
For the Nov 3 election: States are making it easier for citizens to vote absentee by mail this year due to the coronavirus. Each state has its own rules for mail-in absentee voting. Visit your state election office website to find out if you can vote by mail.Get more information
In-person early voting dates: Varies by state
Sometimes circumstances make it hard or impossible for you to vote on Election Day. But your state may let you vote during a designated early voting period. You don't need an excuse to vote early. Visit your state election office website to find out whether they offer early voting.My Election Office
General Election: Nov 3, 2020
Polling hours on Election Day: Varies by state/localityMy Polling Place