Helping a board excel at fundraising
A nonprofit board is asked to possess quite a range of competencies: governance, managerial review, subject matter expertise, and of course, fundraising. Given the complexity of just one of these areas, almost all boards can benefit from an injection of expertise. This is especially true when the organization is itself in the midst of dramatic growth.
Reading Partners, an agency that matches individual tutors with children learning to read, is going through rapid growth: in the last few years it has quadrupled the number of schools it serves and is expanding nationally. The board of directors is talented and motivated, but it will have to continue to grow its own competencies in order to sustain this progress. Indeed, as a rule, CWR has found that growth situations especially need investment in the board's fundraising capacity: the demands on the other compentencies don't necessarily scale rapidly with expansion, but funding needs invariably do. In many cases, board members who were recruited at an earlier stage of the organizational life cycle aren't immediately prepared to step up their donor cultivation.
CWR is providing analysis and advice for further developing the board's fundraising effectiveness. A key value in our approach is to focus on what the board already does well. Given all that a board is theoretically charged with accomplishing, it is all too easy to list what it isn't doing and hand an organization with a generic list of best practices. This is why we feel it is crucial that consultants spend a great deal of time understanding the specifics of any given board. We then position the board's potential with our analysis of the organization's overall fundraising strategy.
When it comes to Reading Partners, we believe the board has some excellent traits and practices that only require some additional concrete steps to take it to the next level. The organization's national expansion opens up further opportunities. To quote its tag line, there are infinite possibilities.