The importance of board member financial contributions posted 10/23/14

By Michelle Birkenmeier

Congratulations! You’ve decided to join a young friends board! Once you figure out which charity you would like to support with your time and talents, there are still a few logistics to consider when joining a board. While it is a noble idea to support a charity, board membership requires more than simply time and talent: it requires money.

Let’s face: it you need money to get any business off the ground, and a nonprofit organization is no different. It’s the responsibility of the board to provide the financial basis. The board needs initial contributions simply to get the word out about themselves and to attract future committee members, volunteers, and donors for the cause. It needs continued annual contributions to stay functional, organize events, and accomplish the general mission.

While a well-established organization may not necessarily need annual board contributions to remain functional, it is important for board members to consistently contribute. Board contributions can establish a sense of responsibility and commitment in each member. After all, how can you say you tell a future donor how much you believe in your charity without actually having any financial skin in the game? If a company asks for a list of the nonprofit organization’s top donors, how does it look if no board members are listed? Do they not believe in the cause? How can a company donate to a charity when its own board members do not?

These questions should be considered by future board members and newly formed boards as they also raise the issue of contribution amounts. Since charitable giving can be an uncomfortable topic, a board full of young professionals who are possibly still paying off their student loans may not want to establish a minimum contribution amount. If that is the case, a suggested amount for the board members’ consideration can help convey the level of commitment the board is looking for.

Joining a young friends board is a big commitment. You are contributing your time, energy and hard-earned money to this organization and I commend you on your decision.

Good luck!

Start building your young friends board today

Challenged getting young professionals involved in your nonprofit? Download our free guide to start engaging your future leadership today.

Download free guide

Leave a Comment