Leadership in Philanthropy
In his best-selling book, Good to Great, Jim Collins underscored this lesson: “You need the right people in the right seats on the bus, and let them decide where to drive it.” Red Auerbach, long-time president of the Boston Celtics, said, “How you select people is more important than how you manage them once they’re on the job.” Both of these sentiments reflect the importance of having the right people on your team. But what does this mean for philanthropy?
Here are tips to get you started:
Identify great leaders.
Philanthropic boards need to be filled with individuals of affluence and influence. Start with the people who know your organization best and care deeply about the mission. Ask them who they know in their circles of influence – individuals who might have an interest in the mission and a capacity to give a gift of significance.
Involve them in the life of the organization.
As we often say At Kinetic: “Involvement leads to investment.” Once you have identified potential leaders and donors, invite them to come see the work you are doing and experience the joy of being part of a big vision. Site tours, civic presentations, community outreach events and many other activities can be good ways to meet potential leaders and donors on a more personal level than through direct mail or cold calls. Make connections, and don’t forget to follow up.
Invite them to join in, and this includes fundraising.
Effective leaders understand the organization’s mission, but it takes time and a desire to learn. Effective organizations have a strategic plan for where they need to go, and the training and authority to carry out the vision. Effective fundraisers have a comprehensive fundraising plan that includes a budget, timeline and benchmark goals.
Everyone closely associated with the nonprofit – staff, board members, key volunteers and major donors – should feel invited and welcome to be part of the vision and fulfillment of the mission. Choose your leadership well, and then invite them to become even more involved.
Geoff Burns, Vice President, firstname.lastname@example.org
Join Us on the Growing Philanthropy Tour
Next stops on the road to achieving Kinetic’s mission of growing philanthropy by 25 percent in the next 20 years:
March 4-6, 2019
Think Double! Fundraising Masterclass
July 11, 2019
2019 Bridge Conference
AFP of Washington DC Metro Area Chapter
Prepared for Success: Demystifying the Major Gift Campaign
Resources for Smart Fundraising Available on Kindle
Keep up to date on the latest fundraising trends with the Kindle ASR Media collection:
- Fundraising Leadership – The definitive source for empowering board members to become pro-active fundraising leaders by Karin L. Cox
- Performance-Driven Fundraising – Handy, yet entertaining reference tool for new and seasoned fundraisers by Matthew J. Beem
Book of the Month
Fundraising Leadership: The Essential Guide for Nonprofit Board Members Who Want to Make a Lasting Difference (ASR Media) – an exciting book by Karin L. Cox – is the definitive source for empowering board members to become pro-active fundraising leaders.
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Visit the Kinetic website for:
– Educational opportunities
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Strategies for Success explores smart ideas, connecting with thousands of fundraising professionals. We welcome your best practices contributions or comments. Send to Strategies for Success editor Karin Cox, email@example.com. If you’d like a free subscription to Strategies for Success or its monthly companion, Philanthropy Success, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.