March 2014: Build a Powerful Board that can Raise Funds

In this Issue

Opening Remarks

Your Board can be an important tool in your fundraising arsenal–but only if they are properly oriented and trained in their fundraising responsibilities.  In this edition of Transforming Challenges, Senior Consultants Tom Reid and Greg Cascione outline the areas of expertise Board members should have or develop as they take on board membership.

At The Reid Group, we have a passion for helping leaders and organizations transform their challenges into opportunities to create a better world. One of the ways we do that is through this e-letter, Transforming Challenges. Is there someone you know who could benefit from receiving it? Forward this edition to them and encourage them to subscribe for themselves. They’ll thank you—and so do we!

The Reid Group News

  • Congratulations to Maureen Gallagher, recipient of the 2014 Yves Congar Award from the Conference on Pastoral Planning and Development!  In a letter notifying her of her award, CCPCD said “The member who nominated you for this award wrote of you as one of the ‘great wisdom figures of our ministry’ and a ‘powerful mirror of discipleship.’  We are thrilled to recognize your creativity and use of the arts to enhance planning practices and leadership development throughout your service in the Diocese of Madison, Archdiocese of Milwaukee, and now with The Reid Group.”
  • John Reid and Lucien Roy are preparing to conduct the second planning retreat for St. Pius X parish in Granville, MI on March 21-22.
  • In the Making All Things New planning process for the Archdiocese of New York, Cluster Suggestions from all 75 clusters are being reviewed by the Archdiocesan Advisory Group which will meet in retreat at the end of March to respond with Preliminary Recommendations.
  • Planning for parishes and schools in the Topeka Region of the Archdiocese of Kansas City in Kansas is proceeding according to plan, despite weather challenges.  A Catholic school summit meeting for parents, teachers and administrators in Topeka was held on March 4 and parish Cluster training took place on March 6.
  • Maureen Gallagher and John Reid conducted training sessions on Parish Council Guidelines for the Diocese of Peoria last month.

So as you look at your individual or organizational future, what are your challenges? Could you benefit from skilled support? Give us a call at 206-432-3565 or send us ane-mail to start transforming those challenges into opportunities.

We are pleased to announce the next in The Reid Group teleseminar series.

You are invited to attend the next in our Reid Group teleseminar series:

Date: March 19, 2014
Time:  2 p.m. PT, 3 p.m. MT, 4 p.m. CT, 5 pm ET
Topic:  Developing Powerful Boards that can Raise Funds

The call will be hosted by Tom Reid and joined by Greg Cascione, both Senior Consultants with The Reid Group.

We created the Sustainable Future Audit tool to help leaders discern the precise nature and scope of their challenges so they can address them in a comprehensive way.

During this teleseminar, important information and practical suggestions will be presented for increasing your board’s fundraising capability. In addition, the conversation will also offer tips for engaging your colleagues in constructive conversation leading to a more effective fundraising program.


Feature Focus

Build a Powerful Board that can Raise Funds

Tom Reid, Senior Consultant

Tom Reid, Senior Consultant

On a scale of 1-10, how would you rate your Board’s expertise in and execution of fundraising activities?

I asked that question recently of a client–or, rather, I meant to ask that question. What I really said was, “On a scale of 1-2 . . .” When I corrected myself, the Board chair acknowledged that a scale of 1-2 would be a more appropriate range for his Board members. And in our experience at The Reid Group, this would be true of many if not most non-profit Boards. In other words, there is a lot of room for improvement.

Many Boards are underperforming in fund development because

Greg Cascione, Senior Consultant

Greg Cascione, Senior Consultant

they have not been consistently oriented to and supported in their fundraising responsibilities. A lot of organizations are so challenged to find Board members that they tend to underplay the fund development aspect of the Board’s work.

As a result, they have a Board made up of people who lack four important qualities:

  • Wealth–either their own, or access to other people’s
  • Wisdom–the skills they bring to the table
  • Work–a willingness to work
  • Wallop–they are excited to serve on this Board (e.g., they are “on board” as opposed to simply on the board)

Fundraising is all about building relationships with potential donors, and your Board members’ relationships are a good place to start. As a part of your orientation of new Board members, it is helpful to have a practice of “Give and Get:”

  • Set a suggested MINIMUM support level, established BY the Board for all board members.
  • In its simplest form, this practice asks board members to GIVE a gift themselves and help GET funds from other sources.

Setting clear expectations for new Board members, including fundraising responsibilities, at the start of their Board service will set your Board up for success. Ongoing training of Board members in fundraising will increase their expertise and your organization’s effectiveness. This training can be provided by the Board chair, or a member of the staff, or an outside consultant.

However this ongoing Board development is conducted, the key is a clear explanation of fundraising expectations upfront and a consistent delivery of skill-building resources. Give your Board members the tools they need and they will come through for you–and the people you serve.


The Art of Change: Faith, Vision and Prophetic Planning

Think about what your organization could do if the process of planning met the inevitability of change head-on—and it resulted in significant success.

Organizations large and small, religious and secular, for-profit and not-for-profit, successful and unsuccessful, go through change. John Reid and Maureen Gallagher of the Reid Group have been instrumental in helping many groups discover the power of Prophetic Planning. This book presents a complete overview with detailed information that any organization will find useful in understanding how to plan for change.

The Art of Change: Faith, Vision and Prophetic Planning, and its companion CD are now available from Liguori Publications as well as from

And that’s it for this month. Look for Transforming Challenges next month–and until then, have a good day and a great week.

Kathy Johnson, Editor, Transforming Challenges

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