This is how to launch a nonprofit investor board

Don’t let time-starved individuals with a desire to contribute to your mission fall through the cracks. An investor board can be an effective platform for advancing a nonprofit’s mission and growth.

Gift of Adoption, a charitable organization that helps parentless children by providing the final funds needed to complete adoptions, has a strong network of more than 20 volunteer-powered chapters across the country governed by a national board. Governing board members, many of whom have been directly impacted and touched by adoption in their own lives, devote time and energy to raising funds for adoption assistance grants and advancing the Gift of Adoption mission.

Governing board members are joined by a particularly critical body-our investor board. It is comprised of 65 individuals and families across the country. There is no time commitment required from investor board members, only a financial one. At Gift of Adoption, investor board members pledge $2,500 for three years for a $7,500 total commitment. That $7,500 gift is equal to a grant GOA gives to cover adoption funds. We frame it as: Each Investor Board member gift that is applied to core operating and overhead costs makes it possible for us to award an additional grant to cover things like travel expenses, legal fees, and orphanage fees to help complete an adoption. 

This unique structure allows for one hundred percent of every dollar raised by chapters to go directly towards completing adoptions. It also provides an opportunity for individuals who are passionate about the Gift of Adoption mission to show commitment. They may not have the capacity or time to attend regular board meetings but they can still make a significant impact.

Thanks in large part to the investor board structure, Gift of Adoption has grown 20 percent annually over the past six years, a trajectory which will allow the organization to reach its goal of uniting 500 children each year with their permanent families by 2020.

The following are key learnings on how to develop and use an investor board to build your organization:

Have an investment-worthy operating plan

Know your operating expenses and what the return on those costs will be. For example, is the investor board’s financial commitment covering a new staff position that will make it possible to raise 50 percent more over the next three years? Or covering the development of a new website that will make it easier to reach the population the organization serves? Investor gifts are capital for growth so presenting a growth plan is key to securing support. Develop a pitch that works and targets individuals with the capacity to give at that level. Our requisite $7,500 commitment is a good step-up for donors and also a step-down for people who want to transition off of the governance board yet continue supporting the organization.

Recruit passionate people

Passion for the mission should sit right at the top of criteria when selecting investor board members. Those who are passionate about what they are supporting will remain deeply committed to advancing the organization’s agenda - plus their infectious enthusiasm often translates into securing strong support from their network and beyond. They are also more likely to make long-term financial commitments and encourage others to support the organization.

Aim for multi-year commitments

Ask board members to make financial commitments over the course of three or more years. This allows investors to make a pledge and then have three years to see the impact of their giving as the organization grows. A multi-year gift also creates stability for an organization, knowing you can count on a certain amount of operating funds for future years - and it also means you don’t have to keep asking for a gift year after year.

The importance of the human element

Keeping investor board members intimately connected to the mission and communities it serves is one of the secrets for success. Don’t let them feel disconnected and disengaged. Connect regularly with investor board members through a variety of channels including e-newsletters, your organization's blog posts and social media channels. Share compelling stories that highlight the emotional impact of their work. Also, consider hosting events that bring investor board members together to celebrate their support. Gift of Adoption hosts a series of investor board receptions throughout the year to provide an intimate setting for them to interact and engage and invite others to learn more and join the effort.

Glen Mangold is treasurer of the Gift of Adoption Board and an investor board member

X
This website uses cookies to enhance user experience and to analyze performance and traffic on our website. We also share information about your use of our site with our social media, advertising and analytics partners. Learn More / Do Not Sell My Personal Information
Accept Cookies
X
Cookie Preferences Cookie List

Do Not Sell My Personal Information

When you visit our website, we store cookies on your browser to collect information. The information collected might relate to you, your preferences or your device, and is mostly used to make the site work as you expect it to and to provide a more personalized web experience. However, you can choose not to allow certain types of cookies, which may impact your experience of the site and the services we are able to offer. Click on the different category headings to find out more and change our default settings according to your preference. You cannot opt-out of our First Party Strictly Necessary Cookies as they are deployed in order to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting the cookie banner and remembering your settings, to log into your account, to redirect you when you log out, etc.). For more information about the First and Third Party Cookies used please follow this link.

Allow All Cookies

Manage Consent Preferences

Strictly Necessary Cookies - Always Active

We do not allow you to opt-out of our certain cookies, as they are necessary to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting our cookie banner and remembering your privacy choices) and/or to monitor site performance. These cookies are not used in a way that constitutes a “sale” of your data under the CCPA. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not work as intended if you do so. You can usually find these settings in the Options or Preferences menu of your browser. Visit www.allaboutcookies.org to learn more.

Sale of Personal Data, Targeting & Social Media Cookies

Under the California Consumer Privacy Act, you have the right to opt-out of the sale of your personal information to third parties. These cookies collect information for analytics and to personalize your experience with targeted ads. You may exercise your right to opt out of the sale of personal information by using this toggle switch. If you opt out we will not be able to offer you personalised ads and will not hand over your personal information to any third parties. Additionally, you may contact our legal department for further clarification about your rights as a California consumer by using this Exercise My Rights link

If you have enabled privacy controls on your browser (such as a plugin), we have to take that as a valid request to opt-out. Therefore we would not be able to track your activity through the web. This may affect our ability to personalize ads according to your preferences.

Targeting cookies may be set through our site by our advertising partners. They may be used by those companies to build a profile of your interests and show you relevant adverts on other sites. They do not store directly personal information, but are based on uniquely identifying your browser and internet device. If you do not allow these cookies, you will experience less targeted advertising.

Social media cookies are set by a range of social media services that we have added to the site to enable you to share our content with your friends and networks. They are capable of tracking your browser across other sites and building up a profile of your interests. This may impact the content and messages you see on other websites you visit. If you do not allow these cookies you may not be able to use or see these sharing tools.

If you want to opt out of all of our lead reports and lists, please submit a privacy request at our Do Not Sell page.

Save Settings
Cookie Preferences Cookie List

Cookie List

A cookie is a small piece of data (text file) that a website – when visited by a user – asks your browser to store on your device in order to remember information about you, such as your language preference or login information. Those cookies are set by us and called first-party cookies. We also use third-party cookies – which are cookies from a domain different than the domain of the website you are visiting – for our advertising and marketing efforts. More specifically, we use cookies and other tracking technologies for the following purposes:

Strictly Necessary Cookies

We do not allow you to opt-out of our certain cookies, as they are necessary to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting our cookie banner and remembering your privacy choices) and/or to monitor site performance. These cookies are not used in a way that constitutes a “sale” of your data under the CCPA. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not work as intended if you do so. You can usually find these settings in the Options or Preferences menu of your browser. Visit www.allaboutcookies.org to learn more.

Functional Cookies

We do not allow you to opt-out of our certain cookies, as they are necessary to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting our cookie banner and remembering your privacy choices) and/or to monitor site performance. These cookies are not used in a way that constitutes a “sale” of your data under the CCPA. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not work as intended if you do so. You can usually find these settings in the Options or Preferences menu of your browser. Visit www.allaboutcookies.org to learn more.

Performance Cookies

We do not allow you to opt-out of our certain cookies, as they are necessary to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting our cookie banner and remembering your privacy choices) and/or to monitor site performance. These cookies are not used in a way that constitutes a “sale” of your data under the CCPA. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not work as intended if you do so. You can usually find these settings in the Options or Preferences menu of your browser. Visit www.allaboutcookies.org to learn more.

Sale of Personal Data

We also use cookies to personalize your experience on our websites, including by determining the most relevant content and advertisements to show you, and to monitor site traffic and performance, so that we may improve our websites and your experience. You may opt out of our use of such cookies (and the associated “sale” of your Personal Information) by using this toggle switch. You will still see some advertising, regardless of your selection. Because we do not track you across different devices, browsers and GEMG properties, your selection will take effect only on this browser, this device and this website.

Social Media Cookies

We also use cookies to personalize your experience on our websites, including by determining the most relevant content and advertisements to show you, and to monitor site traffic and performance, so that we may improve our websites and your experience. You may opt out of our use of such cookies (and the associated “sale” of your Personal Information) by using this toggle switch. You will still see some advertising, regardless of your selection. Because we do not track you across different devices, browsers and GEMG properties, your selection will take effect only on this browser, this device and this website.

Targeting Cookies

We also use cookies to personalize your experience on our websites, including by determining the most relevant content and advertisements to show you, and to monitor site traffic and performance, so that we may improve our websites and your experience. You may opt out of our use of such cookies (and the associated “sale” of your Personal Information) by using this toggle switch. You will still see some advertising, regardless of your selection. Because we do not track you across different devices, browsers and GEMG properties, your selection will take effect only on this browser, this device and this website.