AFP Florida Caucus

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Questions I’m Most Often Asked about Boards and Fundraising

By Kay Sprinkel Grace


Boards and fundraising. It’s a hot-button issue for almost everyone—from monolithic hospitals to closet-sized food pantries. In my years of consulting I’ve fielded hundreds if not thousands of questions on the subject. Here, I offer answers to the six questions I’m asked most often.

How can I get my board members to ask for money?

I don’t believe you’ll ever get all of your board members to ask. But it’s certainly possible for everyone to play a role in development, as I make clear in The Ultimate Board Member’s Book.

When I worked with the American Library in Paris, guiding a small capital campaign, one board member was responsible for our raising nearly a third of the goal. And she didn’t ask for a penny herself. Instead, the money came from people she had kept in close touch with over the years. She said she couldn’t ask them herself but was happy to let her friends know we’d be in touch. When I thanked her for her role, she apologized for not being able to ask. “You don’t have to,” I assured her. “Just keep doing what you’re doing.”



Kay Sprinkel Grace is the author of The Ultimate Board Member’s Book, Fundraising Mistakes That Bedevil All Boards (and Staff Too), and Over Goal! She is a prolific writer, creative thinker, inspiring speaker, and reflective practitioner. Her passion for philanthropy and its capacity to transform donors, organizations, and communities is well known in the United States and internationally.


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