Board engagement: A checklist
Arts boards are responsible for a lot of things that set an organisation up for success. They’re involved in governance and financial oversight, they set the strategic direction for the organisation, and they hire great leaders. Your board’s role in fundraising is a really important part of this mix. As an organisation, you need to ask yourself: Does your board get it? How they can help? And how can we help them? It’s going to be much easier to raise money if your board is behind you, and even better if they are actively involved.
Below is a checklist of actions and qualities that characterise an engaged board. You might not be able to check them all right now, but working towards achieving these will set you up for fundraising success.
What you can do:
- Share your development strategy, fundraising plan and targets
- Share your case for support and encourage them to use it
- Provide regular updates on fundraising activity, achievements and challenges
- Provide support material
- Offer training in fundraising
- Outline your expectations before appointing board members – make it clear in position descriptions what you expect.
What your board can do:
- Get to know and understand your development strategy, fundraising plan and case for support
- Be advocates for your organisation
- Provide general support and advice
- Discuss development as a standing item at their meetings
- Ensure the development team has adequate resources and support
- Host supporters and prospects
- Steward supporters and say thank you
- Identify prospects and make introductions
- Attend sponsorship and donor meetings with staff
- Have experience in fundraising
- Ask people and businesses to support your organisation
- Lead by example, ideally through giving or sponsoring.