blue rule

Published January 10, 2021

Weekly Idea - No Money. No Mission! Part II


Following my comments on Board Members, Part One, in the Institute’s last newsletter, I received an email from a friend who has served as chair of the Boards of Trustees of multiple, significant institutions. She commented: “The ideal Board is made up of givers. Every Board is now looking for diversity of all kinds and generally the more diverse the smaller the gifts, if there is at all. This is a major problem when trying to raise money. A few donors are not enough.”

A diverse Board is significant. And, we know a Board often struggles to achieve the balance and diversity it seeks. That said, my friend is correct “a few donors are not enough.”

Trustees must be willing to give. This is what transforms vision into reality. The old saying “No money, no mission” is never really old— and never out of date. In Brian Saber’s conversation with Jerry Panas, this point is made repeatedly. As the Apostle Paul wrote to the Galatians: “What I write is the plain truth.”

A prerequisite for a successful fundraising program is board members’ enthusiastic acceptance and commitment of their role in philanthropy. Not much will be achieved without it.

Some key verities from Jerry Panas’ “The Fundraising Habits of Supremely
Successful Boards:”

  • Board members are selected, not elected;
  • Before joining the Board, they know they are expected to call on others for gifts;
  • Board members are passionate about the organization - and show it;
  • Board members are involved in acknowledging and thanking donors;
  • Board members don’t allow a mission deficit; and
  • Board members hold in trust the mission of your organization.

A great organization must have a sense of destiny and objectives which test its mettle. Trustees must be willing to stand on tiptoes to reach out boldly for bigger and higher objectives. There must be a willingness of heart that knows no bounds. Aim high.

– Jerry A. Linzy 
Executive Partner,Emeritus
Jerold Panas, Linzy & Partners