Board Responsibilities: Creating a Board of Fundraising Enthusiasts

Category: Capital Campaigns

The work of the board

“The most important work of any board is to create and re-create the reason for the
organization’s existence [and ensure sufficient resources to realize that vision].
The only…reason for an organization to exist is the production of worthwhile results
that…meet human needs.”
– John Carver Boards That Make a Difference

What are a board’s legal duties?

• Duty of Care:
Understand the mission, attend board meetings, prepare to make informed decisions

• Duty of Loyalty:
Avoid conflicts of interest, put the interests of your organization first

• Duty to Manage Accounts:
Maintain accurate financial records and appropriate controls, assist in acquiring resources

• Duty of Compliance:
Abide by the organization’s bylaws, federal and state laws

Governing vs. Managing

Activity– Board’s role

Financial– Adopt budget and spending policies

Human resources Hire and evaluate executive director, adopt personnel policies

Publicity– Identify an official spokesperson; refer all information requests to that individual

Programs– Adopt policies, attend public events, informed advocate

Fundraising– Collaborate on the identification, cultivation, solicitation and stewardship of donors

Board– Identify and recruit new members, self-evaluation

Facilities– All decisions regarding ownership; financing, etc.


Activity– Staff’s role

Financial– Manage staff in accordance with policies

Human Resources– Managing staff in accordance with policies

Publicity– Identify an official spokesperson; refer all information requests to that individual

Programs– Implement programs

Fundraising– Collaborate on the identification, cultivation, solicitation, and stewardship of donors

Board Facilities– Prompt and accurate information on all operations, manage facility use, maintenance, etc.

Elements of Effective Recruitment

• Governance committee, CE0 & development director should: Identify the skills, specialties missing from the board – Prepare job descriptions
•Incorporate the 4 W’s: Work, Wisdom, Wealth & Wit
• Make fundraising a priority
• Make connections and networking capabilities absolutes to joining the board
• Use board members’ intellect, reputation, political, & social capital