The topic of board participation in fundraising has been the object of extensive discussion but little systematic research. This study used a correlational design to examine the relationship of board involvement in fundraising to board recruitment, orientation, and. training; agency demographics; and the characteristics of board members. The study also examined the attitudes of board members toward their agencies and toward fundraising.
The data were gathered through an anonymous survey questionnaire completed by 274 board members (62% response rate) of 30 randomly selected health and human service agencies in Santa Clara County.
It was found that emphasizing or mentioning the board's responsibility for fundraising during recruitment was associated with increased board involvement in fundraising. Orientation procedures were not related. A small relationship was found between board participation in fundraising and training about the board's role in fundraising and governance.
The value systems and experiences of board members were among the strongest indicators of fundraising involvement. Altruistic motives were linked to fundraising participation, as was service on other boards that expected fundraising involvement. Board involvement in fundraising also was related to the agency's fundraising structure.
Increased board participation was associated with the presence of part-time development staff, a fundraising committee, and business activities. Decreased board involvement in fundraising was associated with (a) an auxiliary or volunteer group that did fundraising and (b) fundraising by the executive director; this was an unexpected finding.
The study was supported in part by a Ford Foundation grant administered by the Institute for Nonprofit Organization Management at the University of San Francisco.
Mills, M. Sponseller (1993). Board involvement in fundraising. Working paper (University of San Francisco. Institute for Nonprofit Organization Management); no. 20. San Francisco, CA: Institute for Nonprofit Organization Management, College of Professional Studies, University of San Francisco.