The Importance of Leading by Giving

The Importance of Leading by Giving

November 18th, 2010

By Meg Gammage-Tucker


An active and committed board of directors is an essential component of any successful non-profit.

Boards have several duties that include:

  • Determining and managing the organization’s mission and purpose.
  • Selecting, managing, supporting, and evaluating the efficacy of the chief executive officer.
  • Conducting effective organizational planning and evaluation.
  • Determining, monitoring, and evaluating programs and services.
  • Enhancing and effectively managing the organization’s public, legal, and ethical integrity.
  • Recruiting, orienting, supporting, and assessing board performance and engagement.
  • Ensuring and effectively management appropriate and adequate human, financial, and organizational resources.

While all are very important to the success and growth of nonprofits and the fulfillment of their missions, it is simply impossible to overstate the importance of board members’ leading by personal gifting.  Why, because a board’s fundamental responsibility is to ensure the sustainability of nonprofits and their programs.  To do so they have to lead by example.

Why should a prospective donor give to an organization whose leadership has not given themselves?  If the leaders—who are legally and ethically responsible for the health of the organization—are not personally committed enough to invest their own precious resources, why should someone else?

The Board member that leads through personal gifting is the board member that is able to be an honest advocate and broker for the organization:  “I gave, this is why, and this is why you should too…” 

There is no better indicator of the strength of the leadership of a nonprofit than 100% board giving to its campaigns –whether annual funds or capital projects. 

If you are on a board—lead by example.  Truly, there is no more important role you have to assure its success.

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