He or she is a special volunteer who takes on significant responsibility. As the central figure of the group, the Chair must be both an inspirational leader and a manager. As a leader, the Chair must be knowledgeable about fundraising (or curious enough to inquire), conversant with your organizational mission, and have enthusiasm for the work. As a manager, the Chair must keep track of the development program details, ensure that the strategies being implemented are the correct ones, and work with the other committee members to make sure their work is completed.
When the Development Committee Chair is able to master both the skills of a leader and a manager the committee will be on the road to success.
Here are specific tasks that must be fulfilled by a successful Development Chair:
Serve as interface between Development Committee and Board
- Make presentations to the Board on the progress of the Development Committee
- Bring recommendations to the Board of policies and strategies formed by the Development Committee
- Report, between meetings as necessary, to the Board Chair on the Committee’s progress, to seek guidance and provide updates.
Communicate with other Development Committee members
- Provide updates to committee members if they are absent from Development Committee meetings
- Work with other Development Committee members to ensure that work outside of committee meeting is completed.
- Have private conversations, as needed, with other committee members about their attendance at meetings, their role on the committee and how they can help it thrive.
Participate in Direct Fundraising
- Take a leadership role in cultivation, stewardship, and solicitation of gifts.
- Provide guidance and expertise on all current and new fundraising strategies.
Facilitate Development Committee Meeting
- Review agenda prepared by consultants or in-house staff, at least a day before the monthly meeting.
- Suggest agenda items for committee meetings as necessary.
- Provide fundraisers with updates throughout the month, so that the most recent information is shared by all meeting attendees.
Track progress of the committee
- Through informal evaluation track the progress of strategies, be aware of where each strategy is and what it needs to move forward.
- On a formal bi-annual basis evaluate the ROI achieved by each strategy and the development program as a whole.
How have you gone about recruiting the right Development Committee Chair for your organization?
How has a good Chair helped advance your fundraising program?
Consider sharing this article with your Dev. Cmt chairperson to ascertain their reaction.
Please share your experiences in the comments section below.