Skip to main content

Fundraising Topics

Recruiting the Next Generation

Recruiting the Next Generation

Board Members – Give, Get, Get Off.

Heard That Before?

That’s very NOW-focused.

But what about an investment in the future?

Some organizations maintain a separate “Junior Board” as a training ground. But for groups that aren’t large enough to support two separate boards, they’ve got to create the function of a junior board – a leadership ladder for up-and-comers – and integrate that into their main board.

It all starts with recruitment.

Considerations are different when the organization is recruiting as an investment in future leadership, vs. the yield of the here-and-now.

“We’ve got a $5,000 give-or-get.” “We’re looking for board members who can bring in corporate sponsorships.” “We’re interested in senior management professionals with a good rolodex.”

All of those are great, sure. But looking exclusively for people like that leads to a board where everyone’s over-40; where the network of people they know are likely to already have strong philanthropic priorities; and where the giving is quid-pro-quo because everyone's already been trapped.

In future-oriented recruitment, the goal is to grow some philanthropists yourself – which means taking a chance on the next generation.

This process has board members asking their contacts: “Who’s an up-and-comer in your company?” instead of: “Would you consider serving?”

You’ll need more of an on-boarding procedure – these folks may not have served on a board before, and will need training and mentoring to become productive and effective board members.

And it takes patience. Sometimes you get people who can’t move corporate money (yet) themselves – they’re just a little too junior. How frustrating – you finally have someone from The Big Community Bank on your board, but you’re still getting the $2,000 spread-it-around allotment you were getting before!

But this is a strategy for the future.