The Board "Get" - Is it really working for you?

I have a potentially challenging idea for you to consider!  And believe it or not, it was something I hadn’t thought of before!   It’s yet another complicating factor that affects board-secured giving.

The whole topic of board "give/get" policies is complex to be sure.  But chance conversation recently gave me a some insight that I think is useful.

I was having drinks with an executive director here in the Washington area earlier this week and the topic came up of board member giving and board member “gets.”  He raised a great question:  After how many years does a board member-secured gift stop being a “get?”  He cited an example from his own organization where a board member broad a donor in, which was great, but from that point on the relationship really evolved into one between that donor and the organization - not the board member.  Left up to the board member, this donor would have likely been asked to simply renew their $1,000 gift annually.  Instead, the ED was able to engage that donor, with significant 5-figure contributions being the result.

If board members do nothing but simply make their own gift and then secure the same group of donors each year (and thereby consider their work done) an organization’s ability to build its donor base is significantly limited.

I know some boards for whom the “get” requirement specifies that each board member must secure $xx of NEW money each year.  Their previously secured donors, while critically important to the overall bottom line AND with whom they should play an ongoing stewardship role, do NOT count toward their annual “get” total.

Think about that.  How would your organization’s donor base expand if board members were required each year to achieve a percentage of their board-secured gifts with new donors?

Food for thought. (Actually I think it was a beer!)