News and Notes from the Director
As of May 20, 2018
First and foremost, of course, is one more reminder of our upcoming PSI conference, June 26-29. You’ll find all the information you need on our website, but of course, write or call us at any time.
An interesting issue that surfaces from time to time, with fair regularity is the old idea that “if every person gives $100, and we have 250 members or friends, just think how much money we can raise!” I heard about this twice last week. I’m sure if you’re reading this you know this strategy was debunked as long as as in the sixties, when experts began writing professional books about fundraising as a formalized and organized activity, but perhaps others around you will urge you to think of this idea. It doesn’t work, for both practical and human nature reasons. Just fyi!
Early in 2018 the Giving USA annual survey of state laws was issued. This is important information for us to know so that we’re all in compliance with what our individual states require. If you’re not aware of this, write me.
Donor-Advised Funds are becoming more and more prevalent as a way for major donors to give. The director of The Fund Raising School, Bill Stanczykiewicz, will be presenting a live webinar on the topic on August 1. I also save the best articles and advice on this topic, so if you need some information, especially on how to access such funds, write me and I’ll forward either copies or links.
Speaking of webinars, check out the ones we have on our website, presented by top senior professionals in our field. Mark Lindemann is continually adding to this set, which eventually will consist of a full complement that matches our general version of our handbook, Successful Fundraising. Just as a reminder, we have four versions of this handbook, the second revision of the original one designed for churches and church-related organizations, a Canadian version, and one in Spanish.
An informative article based on new research appeared in the Daily Update of the Chronicle of Philanthropy, April 17, 2018, “$9 Trillion Will Transfer From Americans’ Estates, New Analysis Says,” by Heather Joslyn. It’s a good reminder of the mutual benefits to the donor and the organization regarding planned gifts, and how there is much room for growth in that area.
A personal note—I will be traveling for work in Central Asia from May 25 to June 8 and will be a bit slower in responding or sending news, but do keep in touch whenever you need to or wish to. Until next time!
WELCOMING NEW BOARD MEMBERS
A board needs to do more than just take up space. It needs to provide value to the organization. Unfortunately, many boards can be formless and useless. A lot of the time, the reasoning behind this lack of activity, is orientation. As soon as new members join, they need to be oriented into the organization and they must be told the expectations of work and participation.
The responsibility of orienting new board members should be shared between the executive director, board chairperson and a few other board members. It should not be the sole responsibility of the executive director or of any one person. However, from my experience you only have a few board meetings to get the new members “on board” and get them rolling, otherwise they will fall into bad habits of expecting to do little or nothing. Board culture is ingrained and established very quickly for new members.
Below are some valuable insight for an effective orientation program that can help welcome new board members:
1. Introduce them to the organization.
Make sure the executive director and other important leaders, sit down with them and go over the organization’s mission, goals, and objectives. It’s critical that the new board members have a solid understanding of the vision and mission of the organization. Have this take place prior to their first board meeting.
2. Give them a tour of the organization’s office and facilities.
Make sure they “see and feel” what the organization is all about, and have them meet some of the clients who can tell them stories that the new board members can share with the community and others. Introduce them to key staff and volunteers.
3. Introduce them personally to each board member.
Take the time to introduce them to everyone as key players, so they feel welcomed as an important participant. Provide the message that they are critical to the success of the organization and they are there not just taking up space.
4. Provide a board orientation manual with the basics.
Make sure the board members know what is expected of them in terms of committee assignments, dollar amount of financial contributions, the role of the board in relationship to the executive director, etc. I still like the three ring binders that are tabulated with categories such as: history and background; goals and objectives, budget and financial information; fundraising, legal documents (by-laws and articles of incorporation), brochures and marketing materials; list and bio of board and staff members; personnel policies and procedures; etc.
5. Take them out to lunch.
Make sure either the board president or the executive director takes the new board members out to lunch during the first month on the job. When you take them to lunch, give them an assignment to fulfill that will get them active right from the get-go. Make sure they “hit the ground running”.
6. Write them a welcome letter.
The board president should write a welcome letter to each new board member that formally welcomes them into the organization and thanks them for their time, energy and expertise.
7. Assign them a buddy.
Have the president of the board assign a new board member a buddy that will sit next to him/her during the first few meetings. This buddy could also go out to lunch with the new member, answer questions and make sure they are engaged and involved right from the beginning.
8. Provide them with necessary information.
Give the new members information such as annual reports, auditor reports, strategic plans, job descriptions, etc. Include some past minutes of meeting and other materials that will help educate the new member.
9. Put them on the agenda.
At the first board meeting, provide every new member an opportunity to talk to the board about their experiences, motivations, and passions. Within the next six months have them conduct a 10-15 minute educational session on an issue they are passionate about. This is a great way for the board to get to know the member and for the member to open up about themselves.
10. THANK THEM!
Make sure you thank them for their time and participation. It is also a good idea to begin to collect their birthday, anniversaries and other significant events so you can acknowledge them throughout the year.
Congratulations on any additions you have made to your board!
Be sure and check out our new mentoring program under the Resources tab
Become a peer-coaching mentor — or — the beneficiary of a mentorship who wishes to “learn the ropes.”
For questions and additional information, contact the PSI Network Connect Manager.
Charlotte Henderson will be teaching the newcomer’s workshop at the Conference on Philanthropy and will be available to meet privately for 30 minutes by appointment.
Introduction to PSI
Perspectives from the Field
Glimpses of Fundraising in Adventist Organizations
Books and Resources
Are you planning a building project—a new church, addition, school building, or Community Service building? Do you wonder how you should go about getting the funds? Does it seem like your campaign for funds goes on forever? Are your members or constituents tired of talking about money? If you have these questions and probably many others, Successful Fundraising is for you. Explore the options below to see which edition is right for you.
Written by Lilya Wagner, EdD, CFRE
A “one size fits all” strategy is not effective when it comes to philanthropy and fundraising in today’s diversified environment. This book enables nonprofit leaders, board members, staff, and volunteers of nonprofit organizations to better reach diverse populations and incorporate perspectives that increase success by surveying the cultural context for philanthropic action. In the PSI Library or offered on Amazon in both Print and Kindle: Order on Amazon | View Praeger Publishers listing
New to the library
A completely revised edition of the must-have resource for increasing your nonprofit’s bottom line.
This thoroughly revised and updated edition of the best-selling book The Ask is filled with suggestions, guidelines, and down-to-earth advice that will give you the confidence to ask anyone for any size gift, for any purpose. Written in winning language, filled with sample dialogues, and offering a wealth of tips and tools, this book addresses common mistakes made when asking and shows how to correct each mistake, providing guidance and direction on how to make a great ask.
If you would like to check out this book or another from our library, please call Lorena Hernandez 443-391-7171 or send an email to her at LorenaHernandez@nadadventist.org.