Lead By Example

In Board Development, Evaluations, Fundraising by Geoff Burns

Every organization needs effective leadership. From strategic planning to fundraising, leadership starts with the board of directors. Furthermore, the board should have a strong leader to chair the organization’s priorities.

Effective leadership begins with the Chair of the board. This individual must exemplify leadership in both word and deed. It is not enough to “fill the seat.” When organizations struggle, look first to the Chair. Likewise when organizations are growing and achieving their strategic goals, again look to the Chair.

When it comes to successful fundraising, the Chair plays a crucial role. From capital campaigns to annual giving mailers, major gifts and recurring donations, the Chair of the board sets the tone for the success of any fundraising endeavor. Additionally, the Chair is instrumental in ensuring 100% of board member participation in fundraising. The Chair does not have to be the largest financial contributor, but donors expect that board members will have “skin in the game.”

The board Chair plays a critical role in the success of the organization and not one to be taken lightly. Effective organizations have strong leadership starting with the board Chair. Regardless of the specific financial needs of the organization, when it comes to raising funds, seldom are donors more committed to the success of the organization than the board members, and the actions of board members rarely exceed those of the board Chair.