How to engage your board in fundraising

Portland consultant Allison Handler offered several tips last Thursday on how nonprofit leaders can effectively motivate their board members to engage in fundraising activities.

She spoke for about 90 minutes at the April 25 meeting in Albany.

Allison, right, with MVDP's Nancy Duncan

Allison, right, with MVDP’s Nancy Duncan

If your board is dragging its feet, she said, “here are seven ways to reframe how they think about fundraising and how you think about their job in fund development.”

  • Change your attitude–and theirs
  • Set clear expectations
  • Find a job for everyone
  • Revise your board structure
  • Improve donor relationships
  • Make events work
  • Target outreach efforts

As part of the board structure discussion, she offered a matrix to help organizations fill different interest groups. That form is here. She explained in an email that the form can be filled in using your computer.

Her entire PowerPoint presentation is saved here.

Next for MVDP: Linda Lysakowski, a fundraising consultant from Nevada, visits here on June 13 to present “Fundraising for the GENIUS.” The meeting runs from 3 to 5 p.m. in the Chemeketa Center for Business and Industry, 626 High St. NE, Salem. Registration is available at

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