Invite a Donor to a Board Meeting

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Published May 29, 2016

Invite a Donor to a Board Meeting

We were in the middle of a dull Board meeting. Reports are being given by uninspired Committee Chairmen. Ho hum. Eyes are glazed over.

The Chair then introduced a guest sitting near the back of the room. “I’d like you all to meet Betty.”

The Chair said, “The reason I invited Betty to our meeting is that she just made a very large gift to our organization. I want to thank her publicly. But I want her also to tell us why she made her gift to us.”

Betty spoke for ten minutes about why she chose the organization for her gift. It was an electrifying moment.

It reminded Board members about why they serve. They swelled with pride. It’s not about reports and budgets.

(I once had a Board member tell me he was tired of the 3 Bs at every Board meeting— Budgets, Buildings, and Baloney.)

It was so impressive, I asked a Foundation executive who had just made a gift to one of my other clients. She came to the Board meeting and simply reported why the Foundation decided to make the grant. She talked about why the organization was felt to be worthy. It ended up in a standing ovation.

The Board swelled with pride. The Foundation executive felt greatly appreciated. Everybody won.