5) When planning a major donor campaign it is best
a) Use inexpensive materials to show how your nonprofit
is saving resources.
b) Have solicitors ask a stranger so there is no conflict
c) Begin to look for a major donor in the society page
of your local newspaper.
d)None of the above.
People give money to people (they know); it is always
best to ask someone you know for a major gift. Major donor
solicitation is a competitive business; while you don't
have to use eleven colors of ink and the fanciest paper
in creation, you do need to represent your nonprofit effectively.
To find a major donor you should start by reviewing past
donors. For more information see: "Major
Donor Campaigns: The Heart Of Any Successful Fundraising
6) Which of the following are considered to be a board
member's fundraising responsibilities:
a) To make a financial contribution to the extent of your
b) To solicit contributions from your friends, relatives
c) To oversee your organization's fundraising efforts.
d) All of the above.
addition to the above fundraising responsibilities Zimmerman
Lehman also believes board members should assist in recruiting
new board members with fundraising capabilities. For more
information please see "Boards
That Love Fundraising: Specific Responsibilities".
What types of professions can help your board with
its development efforts?
Public relations, marketing, and advertising.
d) Accounting and finance.
e) All of the above.
variety of professional skills can help guarantee the
success of your development efforts. In addition to
those mentioned above you should keep a keen eye on
diversity as this is critical to your efforts. And of
course, individuals who are movers and shakers in your
community, be they entertainers, high-powered professionals,
or simply people of great wealth, are central to your
organization's fundraising efforts. For more information
with Fundraising in Mind.
8) When funders and donors talk about
accountability what, in particular, are they looking
a) Making sure all your board meetings are open to
b) Ensuring that the budget adds up correctly
c) Making sure your board members have liability insurance
d) Ensuring the public that your overhead percentages
are reported accurately
current trend for funders and donors (exacerbated by
the media) is to examine carefully overhead expenses
[the ratio of spending on programs (services) versus
spending on administration (management) and fundraising].
There are wide discrepancies in how this information
is reported. Percentage amounts customarily range from
15% to 45%. Being accountable means ensuring these figures
are reported accurately. For more information see Accountability
and Transparency for Nonprofits: What Do They Mean?
order Board Members Rule!
9) All of the following are good fundraising strategies
a) Tell donors you may need to close your doors if
they don't give now
b) Ask for money in as many ways as appropriate
c) Keep the donor in mind
d) Give donors the opportunity to invest in your successful
are not really interested in failure. Just like any
other investor they prefer to hear about success.
For more information, see our article "A
Fundraising Success Story: Lessons Learned".
Which one of the following leadership characteristics
is the newest on the landscape?
c) Emotional Intelligence
new trait, a current buzz phrase that was just
coming on the scene ten years ago, is EMOTIONAL
INTELLIGENCE (EI). Some call this a "gut instinct
or an innate sense about what others are feeling."
It used to be called empathy or intuition but
now google EI and you get over one million hits.
"EI" includes identifying, using, understanding
and managing emotions. Both Oprah and Madonna
can read a crowd like no one else and their EI
is part of what makes them both successful. Being
able to read people (know what they want or need)
is invaluable. Those million hits will tell you
that if your are not born with this instinct you
can learn it! For more information on leadership
characteristics see our article Eight
Characteristics of Leadership.
11) In choosing a chair of
your organization's capital campaign committee,
what should be your priority?
A current board member with good connections in
A representative of the client community served
by your nonprofit.
A current board member who gets along well with
people and loves "glad-handing."
d) A volunteer who is not a board member and who
has his/her own financial resources and good community
most cases, it is advisable to ask someone who
is not currently on your board to serve as capital
campaign committee chair. This person must have
substantial financial resources himself/herself,
community "clout," and the willingness to serve
as "point person" for the campaign. For more
information see our article, Capital
Campaigns: Ten Steps To Success.
Which of these is not a good tip for grantwriting?
Pay more attention to describing your program
than your philosophy.
Have the executive director or board chair sign
every letter of inquiry or proposal.
c) Don't repeat the grantor's language concerning
their priorities, since every grantor knows what
d) Spend at least as much time on developing the
budget as on writing the proposal.
Make it easy for the foundation to see that
your program matches their priorities by telling
them that it does: "Our program matches all
three of the ABC Foundation's interests because
it is (a) preK-12 education targeting (b) children/youth
at risk with (c) a focus on literacy." In fact
you should echo the foundation's language. Read
through the annual report to learn preferred
phrases. For example, use the phrase "pre-K
education" or "infant and toddler education",
whichever they use. Use "conservation" or "environment,"
whichever they do. For more tips on grantwriting
TIPS FOR GRANTWRITING.
of the following questions should be answered
yes before you initiate a capital campaign?
a) Does your agency need a building, a piece of land or
a piece of equipment?
b) Does your board have the capacity to make large contributions
to the campaign?
c) Are board members ready to pursue friends, relatives
and colleagues in the campaign?
d) Have the board and volunteers been trained in how to
ask someone for a big gift face-to-face?
e) All of the above
(e) All of the above
your answers to the above questions are "Yes, no, no and
they'd rather face root canal than ask for major gifts,"
you're probably not ideally situated to conduct a capital
campaign. The fact that you need a building, a piece of
land or a piece of equipment does not necessarily mean
that you should launch a capital campaign. For more information
on capital campaigns see "Are
You Ready For A Capital Campaign?"
of the following is least the case?
a) Donating to a nonprofit makes you happy
b) Spending money on others makes you happy
c) Spending money on yourself makes you happy
d) Helping others reduces the odds of an early death
e) All of the above
ZimNotes readers know that a recent study said, "People
who donate their dollars to nonprofits or splurge on
gifts for others are more content than those who squander
all the dough on themselves." There is a wealth-happiness
connection but apparently it is weaker than the lasting
cheer that comes from giving to others. Another study
indicating that giving reduces the odds of an early
death by nearly 60% compared with those who didn't lend
a helping hand. For further information read "Giving
Makes You Happy & Healthy!"
Which one below is not part of being a strategic
advocate as a board member?
Members asks deliberate questions about the end results
you are looking for on any given issue.
It includes engaging the entire board in lively discussions
about options and actions.
You use your legal skills on behalf of your board.
It involves developing policies and actions that further
the mission and vision of the organization
of the answers except #c are part of being a strategic
advocate. While having lawyers on your board may help,
anyone can be a strategic advocate. You don't need to
go to law school first. It is more of a framing issue
for your role as a board member. Board members need
to think strategically and advocate on behalf the organization
whose board they sit on, as well as the community they
come from and the constituency you serve. For more information
on being a strategic advocate see "How
Can A Board Member Be A Strategic Advocate For Your
minutes should do all of following except:
briefly the high point of discussion items
very clear about which person said what
board member votes
all actions any member agreed to do and when
should be summarized and recorded (with votes), as should
all the actions that anyone agreed to do with a "who
said they would do what, and when." This last point
is often neglected and encourages a lack of accountability.
Ridiculously long, "he said/she said" minutes are a
waste of every one's time. There may be an exception
for a controversial decision or a very long and strategic
discussion, but generally all discussions/decisions
should be no more than one to two paragraphs. For more
information see How
Does the Board Govern and Evaluate Itself?
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