Fundraising news, ideas and inspiration for professional charity fundraisers

Charity boards: a survival guide

Charity boards: a survival guide

Dreading your next Board Meeting? A strong board creates opportunity for shared vision and purpose – keeping your charity on track for growth and expansion.

Here are tips to improve your Board reporting and lay the foundations for strong and constructive working relationships.

Think like a fundraiser

Like any other supporter, relationships are the key to a well-functioning Board.

Get to know people, their skills and motivations. If appropriate, approach individual members for support – have coffee, make phone calls. Demystify your Board. You’ll soon find those all-important meetings more constructive and enjoyable.

Get feedback

Don’t run your reports based on assumptions. Take some time to get feedback on your reporting process, and on your interaction with the Board as a whole. Is there anything that needs changing? Can your Board support these processes? Remember, feedback works both ways!

Make your reports worth reading

Keep yours succinct and to the point. Don’t get lost in tiny details.

Use your CRM to pull key information, share oversights, trends and projections. Don’t be afraid to use sub-headings, infographics, tables and charts. Give people time to read the information (at least a week!) and make sure your report flows, is well-presented and easy to digest.

Be transparent

We all face challenges, and we all make mistakes. Be open and honest with your Board, take a step back, and present the facts as they stand. Recognise what works and what doesn’t. We are all on a learning curve, so be constructive – acknowledge if there’s a problem and come prepared to present and take on new solutions.

Read Charity boards: a survival guide by Access Group.


Howard Lake is a digital fundraising entrepreneur. Publisher of UK Fundraising, the world's first web resource for professional fundraisers, since 1994. Trainer and consultant in digital fundraising. Founder of Fundraising Camp and co-founder of Research massive growth in giving.

Get free email updates

Keep up to date with fundraising news, ideas and inspiration with a weekly or daily email. [Privacy]

* We do not share your email or personal details.
" />