Should your organization require board members to give at least $x annually?

Photo by Eric Gjerde

No. I don’t agree that nonprofits should require their board members to give at least $x each year.

Let me clarify though, I do completely agree with The Nonprofit Consultant Blog’s recent post, “How Much Should Board Members Give?” that discusses whether nonprofits should require that their board members give. If you are on the board of a nonprofit organization, you should not only be giving an annual gift, but that nonprofit should be one of the top three nonprofits you give to. Plus, you should be helping to friend-raise and fundraise as part of being on the board and having a fiduciary responsibility.

But, I do not agree with organizations that say that you as a board member are required to give $1,000 (or whatever amount organizations say). That is for two main reasons:

1. If you require individuals to give $1,000, those that can’t afford just won’t give and those that can afford it may just give that (when they might have gave $2,000 or $10,000), so either way you are missing out.

2. You are actively reducing the amount of diversity you will have on your board. There are many people (students, low-income, young, etc) that would never be able to afford that, so you are erasing any opportunity to hear their opinions and have them on your board. This is why I am a fan of the you must give and we must be one of your top three nonprofits you give to language.

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