Having an engaged board can generate tremendous success and better outcomes to help meet a nonprofit’s fundraising goals.

Being intentional about board identification, training and participation may help bolster morale, improve retention and attract new members of affluence and influence. Just as important, being on some boards can be boring, but being part of an engaged board is enormously satisfying and rewarding for everyone.

The time, resources, planning and implementation necessary to introduce and follow through on the right board-engagement processes can translate into greater visibility for the organization, fewer relational speed bumps along the way and more dollars raised to advance the mission.

Consider implementing the following tips and activities to better engage your organization’s board members:

Know Your Board

Develop and distribute an annual survey to your board members. Ask them to provide information about their experiences and interests in the following areas: government relations, corporate relations, donor engagement and stewardship, major gift development, community education, advocacy and other areas of service.

Interview Your Members

Invest the time necessary to schedule and personally meet with each board member individually. The purpose is to review their survey responses and determine the specific areas in which members would like to contribute their time, talents and expertise – as well as to hear from them about any topics they feel should be important to the organization.

Engage Everyone

Align each board member with the development staff member overseeing each of the defined development areas. Offer training, as needed, and ensure they understand their roles and responsibilities. Encourage them to envision strategic initiatives for each focus area and actively assist with the implementation of those tasks. Then, follow up to measure the outcomes.

Board members want to be meaningfully engaged in the successful fundraising efforts of the organizations they support. By aligning board members’ interests and experience with the fundraising needs of the organization, you will create the best opportunities to meet those needs and provide your board members with greater levels of engagement.



Stephen Jones Steve Jones
Executive Vice President