An Open Letter to Our Director of Development

03/12/2015 at 09:55 2 comments

Dear Director of Development,

We were really excited when we hired you. Mostly because we knew you would do all the fundraising. We thought having a full-time fundraiser on staff would mean we would instantly raise more money. We expected, with your skills, our fundraising events and letters would be more successful than before.

Since you came on staff, you have come to our Board meetings asking us to help you with fundraising around the annual appeal and event. We never talked about fundraising at the Board meetings until you arrived.

When we joined the Board, no one told us we would have to raise money. We didn’t have an orientation, so we really don’t know what our responsibilities are as Board members. Many of us were asked to serve because we knew someone on the Board. Of course, we believe in the organization mission, but we have no idea how the place works. We are glad to see you at our meetings, but, frankly, have not met other agency staff. We read about the organization in the newsletter, annual report and view videos at the annual event (when we can attend) but haven’t seen the program “in-action” so to speak.

When you ask us for help, we don’t know what to do or how to help. You give us deadlines but don’t follow up. We have been asked to make a gift during Board meetings, but no one followed up. We were supposed to give you a list of people to invite to the event, but when you didn’t follow up and we received the invitation to the event, we figured we didn’t need to worry about it anymore.

So, we guess we are glad you are here, but if we hired you, why do we need to help with fundraising?


Your Board of Directors

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Entry filed under: Board Development, Engaging Volunteers, Fundraising, Letters. Tags: , , , .

Virtual Reality Cultivation and Fundraising An Open Letter to the Board of Directors

2 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Stephen J. Taylor, CFRE  |  03/12/2015 at 16:45

    Dear Board of Directors:

    I am discerning a strong sense of a disconnect here. When you hired me, I seriously thought that you understood your role as a volunteer board member and as an experienced fundraising professional I already knew my responsibilities. Our non-profit organization serves a lot of people and it is a worthwhile cause so I continue to be optimistic about it, but am concerned that we are on separate tracks regarding who does what and when. So let’s clear the air, get the Board trained, communicate expectations of one another clearly, and work together for the benefit of the organization.

    Your Development Director


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