Organizational Structure

Personal Giving

If your organization does not rely fully on earned income or government grants or contracts, it most likely is involved in raising funds from individuals, foundations, and/or for-profit corporations. It is fair to expect board members to participate in fundraising.

A critical aspect of fundraising is personal giving. It is difficult for a board member to ‘make the ask,’ ask for donations or contributions from others, if he or she has not made a personal gift first. Each board should define its own policy on personal giving. Such a policy might indicate every board member must either:

  • make a personal contribution according to his or her means
  • give or get a certain amount
  • actively participate in fundraising and make a personal gift

It is not always a good idea to state a specific amount for a personal gift as that may be too high for some board members and may lower the level of generosity of a board member who was going to give more.