This past February, we kicked off our 2014 nonprofit workshop season with a panel discussion on Board governance – The Good, the Bad and the Ugly: The Path to a High-Performing Board. One of the questions we heard from the audience was "Should our Board have a giving requirement, and if so, how much?"

Personal giving is an essential part of a Board’s commitment to fundraising. While each Board should determine its own personal giving policy, the goal should be 100% Board member participation. This makes sense – after all, a Board member soliciting a gift is so much more convincing if they have committed their own money to a cause. However, it’s equally important to recognize the other gifts a Board member brings to the table – time, talent, outreach and advocacy count as well. Ultimately, the giving expectations of Board members should be calculated on individual ability and capacity to give.

The giving requirement is often hotly debated. Read Blue Avocado’s article, and the comments posted in response, and you’ll get a good sense of the arguments on both sides of the debate -

Another useful resource is BoardSource’s Board Members and Personal Contributions - Board Members Personal Contributions

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Donella Wilson

Donella Wilson, CPA, leads GHJ’s Nonprofit Practice and is also President and Chief Philanthropy Officer of GHJ Foundation, GHJ’s vehicle for purposeful and proactive giving to the community. A leader in both the nonprofit and accounting communities, Donella was named a finalist in the 2021 Los…Learn More