New Year, New (Fill in the Blank)

We hear so many clichés when a new year rolls around. New year, new me! New year, new job! New year, new (fill in the blank)!

A new year will always come. Sometimes it’s the (fill in the blank) that offers the most opportunities. Sometimes it brings up uncertainty. Sometimes it reflects a thousand-mile stare into the universe. Sometimes…it even transforms people.

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The Elegant No

Ever heard a less than fabulous fundraising idea from a board member? Or your Boss? We all have. I’ve spent years of my fundraising life gently batting down bad fundraising ideas from extremely well-intentioned volunteers and staff. 

I’ve also worked with scores of inexperienced fundraisers, who, not understanding the need to say “no” to poorly conceived fundraising suggestions, politely said, “Yes! I’m happy to execute a (fill in the blank here with BAD fundraising event concept)!” Then our dear baby fundraisers experience the agony of development defeat…and that failure falls squarely at their feet. Ugh!

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The We, We, We Principle

We know that the Board is the “engine” of fundraising. So why aren’t all Board members eager to be involved with funding an organization’s mission?

Could it be that the Board does not know how to support the staff and fundraising? A healthy, functional Board has two main roles: governance and fundraising. They should provide governance and oversight of ethical principles/practices, sound fiscal management, fiduciary responsibility (duties of care, loyalty, obedience), and the linkage with the Executive Director.

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