Kudos to the board members that stepped up!
I’ve been in fundraising for more than two decades. I’ve seen a lot of pivotal moments, such as 9/11, the recession, and much more. However, I’ve never seen anything like what happened when the COVID-19 pandemic hit.
We are so lucky to have the first responders, nurses, and doctors who continued to help us fight the battle. They deserve recognition and praise, every day and always. However, there are also some other quiet heroes that have made our lives better. It’s those board members who stepped up, almost immediately, to help their charities when COVID-19 hit. I feel like this is a good time to point out a few of the honorable things that board members did to help their charities when the global pandemic hit.
During the first few months, I watched as nonprofit leaders scrambled to move their teams to remote locations. They worked 50 to 60 hours a week just to keep the operations moving. They weren’t sure how board meetings would work. Fundraising was at the bottom of their list of to-do since people’s lives were at stake.
Board members were their saving grace. I watched as board presidents became more active and asked more questions. They wanted to do more than just know the financial state of the organization. They wanted to be involved in order to help their nonprofits. When it came to fundraising, some board members were the first to step up. There was one nonprofit where a board member called the CEO and said, “How much money do you need?” The board member immediately made a $50,000 donation that week. Other board members leveraged their peer network to keep virtual events alive. They utilized social media and email to reach out to people they knew could still give. Most did this without any hesitation.
These stories are just a few great examples of board members being actively engaged in fundraising. The big takeaway from last year is that you must engage your board, whether there’s a crisis or not. Make them your partner. Give them fundraising tasks that have meaning to them and you’ll see greater engagement.
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