Get better fundraising results from your board

We’ve all been there. And if you haven’t been there, you’ve at least heard about someone who’s been there. Yesterday, during our live author interview series with board fundraising expert, Kay Sprinkel Grace, we had a nonprofit leader ask, “What recommendations do you have for getting better fundraising results out of your board?”

Most commonly asked

How to get everyone involved in fundraising is the most common question Grace is asked and this author interview was no exception. In fact, Grace has written a book about her answer to this popular inquiry: The AAA Way to Fundraising Success.

A board fundraising idea is born

The inspiration for Kay’s book was a client she worked with 12 years ago. The nonprofit client said, “I’ve got seven askers on my board.” Grace congratulated her for having seven folks who were willing to step up and make “the ask” on behalf of the nonprofit. Then the client said, “No, I have 39 on my board and only seven askers. What am I going to do with the other 32?”

How it works

This scenario became the brainchild for a management tool that Grace actively uses today. The process begins with asking your board to choose from three different roles in fundraising: 1) Ambassador, 2) Advocate, and 3) Asker. Then you spread the choices your board members have made on a matrix and develop a plan based on who will ask, advocate or serve as ambassador. “Because board members have chosen the role they want to play, their willingness to fulfill the identified role is amazing,” says Grace. Grace’s number one rule in this AAA program is that everyone is at least an ambassador.

Who makes the ask

Grace also impressed upon yesterday’s interview attendees that having a volunteer (advocate) and someone from the programming staff join you or the director of development on the ask proves essential. The program staff can speak specifically and intelligently about how the gift impacts outcomes. The board member (volunteer advocate) can speak from a mission and vision perspective.
More info

More info about Grace’s books

You can find out more about Grace’s AAA program in her book, The AAA Way to Fundraising Success at or her other six books at Grace’s latest book, The Ultimate Board Member’s Book, is currently featured at CausePlanet with a Page to Practice book summary.

See also :

Exposing the Elephants: Creating Exceptional Nonprofits

The Nonprofit Leadership Team: Building the Board – Executive Director Partnership

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