The Board must be engaged in fundraising to leverage the many resources – not just financial – they can bring to the organization. Reinforce to them that being a Board member is a serious leadership role. It is they who are ultimately responsible for the organization. Staff can come and go but it is the Board who maintains the continuity of leadership. The Board ensures its ability to remain strong and grow.
If it seems your current Board is not sufficiently in sync with this role, you can take several key steps to begin to forge this gap.
To start, visit with each individual Board member to seek understanding and support of the need to enhance the Board’s involvement. It’s both a listening and briefing assignment. I would suggest your CEO and a few key team members do these briefings so the Board sees a team of leaders and does not identify everything with the CEO only. This both preserves and enhances his leadership role.
In these discussions, communicate the strategic approach you are taking, the progress you are making to craft a vision and case for your future. Most importantly, suggest some sight raising of the expectations for the Board, i.e., the Board as individuals and collectively need to come to own their role, and, as it evolves, the strategic plan and fundraising case.
The key here is that they aren’t just observing the staff’s brilliant plan, but they are owning it with enthusiasm themselves. Remember that the depth of each Board member’s personal relationship to the organization will drive fundraising to a significant degree and will be the core, particularly early on, of your campaign’s success.