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Piano prodigy Andre Watts, the first artist to appear on "Live from Lincoln Center," was born in Nuremberg, Germany in 1946.

FUNdraising Good Times

POSTED: January 26, 2018, 11:30 am

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“My board doesn’t give.” That’s a common lament we hear from executive directors and college presidents. Here’s one from board members: “They only want me for my money.”

Both statements may be true. If these sentiments are active within your organization or institution you might want to take a moment to think about what’s underneath these. We offer a few things for you to consider.

If you are an executive director or college president, consider the following. How would you characterize your relationship with the board, and especially your board president? Do you feel responsible for the board’s actions? Do you feel like you have to do the board’s work because they just won’t “step up?” Do you wish the board would just “do what they should do?” Do you feel you have “spend too much time with my board?” What are your expectations and what are they based on? Are they realistic? Have you shared them with your board chair and the chair of your development or fundraising committee? What are the processes you use for setting the organization’s fundraising goal, and how do you involve the board? Do you know the individuals who sit on the board of your organization? Do you wish the board would just raise money so you could do more important things?

If you are a board member for a nonprofit or institution of higher education, consider the following. What is your assessment of the organization in general? Do you feel comfortable asking questions in board meetings, or personally in conversation with the board chair or executive director? Do you have a good understanding of the organization’s goals, successes and limitations? Do you hold the organization to standards they may not be able to meet? Deep in your heart, do you find you are “sitting on the board” instead of “serving on the board?” What would need to change in order for you to make a meaningful gift and ask others to do so? Do you feel that people see you for your money and don’t see the other ways in which you can contribute? Do you feel that you don’t have the capacity to give in the way other board members do? What impact do you want to make on the organization you serve?

Next week: specific things you can do to increase board giving and fundraising.

Copyright 2018 – Mel and Pearl Shaw

Mel and Pearl Shaw are authors of four books on fundraising available on For help growing your fundraising visit www.saadandshaw.www.saadandshaw.comcom or call (901) 522-8727.

Part one of a two-part series.

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