There are at least 3 reasons why giving should be a key aspect of a governing board’s work:
- Board member giving signifies to employees, donors, and the broader community that they believe in and fully support the CEO. If the board desires the CEO to be successful, then personal giving of some amount from each board member is an important expression of that support.
- Board member giving signifies to employees, donors, and the broader community that they believe in and fully support the specific fundraising initiatives that have been approved. If the board expects the development team to have success in meeting fundraising goals, then personal giving of some amount from each board member is an important signal to other donors that the fundraising priorities are worthy of support.
- Giving something of value (in this case money) is the social behavior all people universally and fundamentally understand as expressing care and love. If board leaders want employees of the organization to care more and love more, one important approach is to model generosity.
Board members who struggle with giving often believe that “only big gifts matter,” or that “talking about giving is potentially awkward,” or even, “we aren’t a fundraising board.”
As advancement leaders, we should strive to educate and encourage board members to change beliefs like these.
The more meaningfully and easily our governing boards express generosity, the healthier and more successful our organizations are.
And organizational health and success is, perhaps, the most unambiguous and coherent evidence of good governance.