Is Your Board Ready For A Campaign?

My experience has shown that the best way to ensure a successful campaign is to work methodically and thoughtfully through a planning process, way before a campaign launch. Assessing readiness helps your staff and volunteer leadership identify which areas need strengthening and what areas need attention to move forward with the future in mind.

Nonprofit boards are vital to the success of your organization. Chances are, if you struggle to meet your budget each year, your board is not truly engaged — and you may not even have the right board.

The details are in the planning! Years before a major campaign launch you need your house in order. A review of your road map (Strategic plan), data measurements, board and staff engagement, strength of your budget and campaign polices all need to be strong and on solid footing. When a board is not engaged, typically the organization has not invested the time in proper identification, recruiting, orienting, ongoing education and relationship-building with board members. Too often, some of the wrong people are at the board table.

It will be rare for you to find a board member who enjoys asking for money. So, if you have a give or get program for board members, I would encourage you to abandon it. So, what can you do? You can coach your board members on how to establish and deepen relationships. Majority of people enjoy going out for lunch or a cocktail, all of course outside with proper social distancing.

As you look toward a campaign, if you want to be successful, you need to prepare. Invest in the focus and action areas when planning for a campaign to ensure your board is in sync with the mission and vision.

Focus Areas

  1. Having a strong, engaged board. You need to have a competent, involved board chair who interacts with the members outside of meetings and knows how to build consensus.
  2. Due diligence and proper planning upfront to determine campaign need and scope. Includes, finances, employee and board bench strength, CEO or ED and board chair’s ability to lead and guide the way.
  3. Intelligence scan complete to assess viability.
  4. Attract the right campaign-leadership team.
  5. A committed board that operates strategically, eyes in hands out and is proactive in building key relationships
  6. A board that is willing to set an example with its own giving.

Forward Actions

1.Invest in board development if your board is weak or disengaged. Your best donors should be your board, so meet with them one-on-one once a year. This is the first step in board engagement. Once you have a fully in sync and engaged board it will soar to heights you never thought possible.

  1. Teach your board basic fundraising and the purpose of annual giving. Helping them to understand that the annual campaign is a launch pad to a major campaign and the expected outcome annual giving to double after a major campaign is complete, as you gain new loyal friends.
  2. Leverage your board to identify and cultivate leaders in their sphere of influence, rather than asking them to fundraise.
  3. Stop doing the same thing and expect different results. This is your opportunity to transform the organization and achieve extraordinary outcomes.
  4. Board members that are not open to a new approach, increased expectations or don’t want to invest in the organization in a significant way, time, talent or treasure, it is probably time for them to move aside.

So, is your board ready for a major campaign?

Are you ready to take the next step to Focus Forward success? To move forward and implement the full assessment, contact the Founder at

I look forward to amazing outcomes.