Leaders regularly engage with different groups to advance the enterprise in various ways. In many instances, though, we don’t address well the fundamental questions those groups have about our expectations for their service.
Here is a handy chart that provides some language to help clarify the role and purpose for 5 key groups who are regularly invited to help you advance your institution.
An added reminder: It’s far better to respond to these questions clearly from the outset – when we invite their service (with reminders along the way of course). It can be problematic if we attempt, for the first time, to clarify these questions after the volunteer or colleague has already begun their service. Clarify early and often.
|Group||Common Question That Shows More Clarity Is Needed||Best Way To Clarify|
|Governing Board Member||How much should I be giving personally?||“We understand that every Board member has unique financial circumstances. One size never fits all. When you agree to serve, our expectation is that you also are agreeing to hold our institution as 1 of your top 3 philanthropic priorities and that your giving will align with that ranking.”|
|Advisory Council Member (Non-Governing)||How much should I be giving personally?||“We understand that every Advisory Council member has unique financial circumstances. One size never fits all. When you agree to serve, our expectation is that you also are agreeing to give at least annually in an amount that is personally significant to you.”|
|Advancement/Development Committee of the Governing Board||What is our primary role with fundraising?||“Your number 1 fundraising responsibility is to make your gift commitment early during each fiscal year and then, ensure that each member of our Board is giving as generously as possible. You are the ‘peer-to-peer’ fundraising helpmates for this Board and will be supported by the Advancement/Development team in that work.”|
|Campaign Steering Committee||What is our primary role with fundraising?||“Your number 1 fundraising responsibility is to make a personally significant gift in support of this campaign and then, to be personally involved in identifying, inviting, and stewarding 2-3 others to give significantly. You will be supported by the Advancement/Development team in that work.”|
|Personnel Search Committee||What is our role in the search process?||“Your role is to identify, interview, and vet 2-3 finalists for the position who you believe can do the work well. Then, you are to provide the hiring decision-maker with the ‘pros and cons’ for each of these finalists. Your role is not to rank the finalists nor recommend who should be hired – that is the responsibility of the hiring decision-maker.”|