Give, Get or Git!

A key component of a healthy non-profit is an active and involved board. Skilled staff members can take an organization far, but if the Board is ineffective the non-profit will not flourish.

One of the most important things a Board does is contribute to the financial well-being of an organization. This can take place in two ways.

Give. Board members are expected to give to the organization. Generously. Obviously some members have greater financial resources than others, but every board member should give. Oftentimes this expectation of giving is deemphasized when recruiting new board members. In the effort to add quality people to the Board, the director or CEO may soft sell the responsibility to give. This is a mistake. Don’t do it.

Get. A good board member opens her rolodex to the organization. If you believe enough to serve on the board, you should invite your friends to give. Can you abuse your friendships by asking for money? I suppose, but frankly that doesn’t happen very often. Listen, it is a privilege to be asked to give and that is how most people feel about it. They aren’t offended that you asked. They are honored. So make a list right now of five people you can begin to cultivate. What friend or business acquaintance can you invite to the next event? Who do you need to introduce to the CEO? A board member is responsible for getting donations. So get going.

Git. This is what a long time board member friend says. If you are on a Board, you need to give, get, or git. You give what you can and and along the way you solicit gifts for the organization. But if you are unwilling to do either of these, you need to git. Move on. If your passion has waned for the organization and you are no longer willing to joyfully give or solicit gifts, then it is time to leave the Board. You are not doing them a favor by lingering. Let someone who is motivated take your place. It is time to git.