It is impossible to overstate the importance of 100% giving by the organization’s leaders; their gifts – regardless of size – help signal the importance of the programs to be funded.  But personal giving is not enough; leaders must also be willing to engage in prospect identification, cultivation and solicitation – sometimes leveraging their personal relationships for the good of the organization.  Of course, instilling such a culture calls for strategy, patience and commitment, but in the absence of such activity, boards will have to limit their expectations for philanthropy; even the most energetic staff fundraiser is no replacement for volunteer leaders.

The growing importance of philanthropy means that association and foundation boards should always join forces when the “parent” association is engaged in long-range strategic planning, factoring in the foundation’s projected expenses and, perhaps more importantly, the anticipated income.

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