Today I attended a workshop offered by the Nonprofit Center of Northeast Florida on Board Development and Fundraising with Chuck Loring as the speaker, a consultant for BoardSource. I thought it was useful, and as can be seen in the picture below, Mr. Loring held the attendees’ atention. The material was very useful, and he was open to answering any and all questions.
Hosted by the Nonprofit Center of Northeast FL… and it is credited for taking this picture.
That said, I was a bit concerned when a couple audience members predicated their questions with “since fundraising is the most important aspect of being a board member…” True, the second half of the workshop was on the Board’s role in fundraising, and the first half of the workshop that focused on Board Developement. And fundraising is important. Still, I came away feeling that those in attendance overlooked the governing part of the Board’s role. The legal and fiduciary requirements of the members. It was touched on in the first half, but always within the framework of resource (financial) development. The Board’s legal role is to govern the organization. Not micromanage, but govern. What are the strategies a Board can utilize or monitoring the environment? Planning? Listening? Facing crises? Reducing conflict among its members? Better adjusting the organization to survive in an ever increasingly changing environment- both financially and socially? That is where fundraising fits in – acquiring resources to remain sustainable to be better able to adjust to these changes. This I found to be missing. However, there are courses (certificates and programs) designed around these topics so it would be asking a lot. Still, a bit more of a focus so people don’t leave thinking their main role is fundraising would be nice.
But in regard to the fundraising portion of the workshop, I though he did an excellent job. I like that he noted the importance donor cultivation, being able to discuss the organization’s mission, segmenting your audience (discussed in both sections), and analyzing donor giving. Spot on. I feel it was a very productive and informative way to spend my day.
Now… back to grading papers and finals…