As both consultants and volunteers, we work with a lot of Development committees. While many have the same overall purpose of supporting fundraising and expanding influence, there seem to be at least four different general types that we’ve seen:
This committee reviews the strategy and performance of the organization’s fundraising program and provides guidance to the staff on fundraising. This kind of committee consists of fundraisers and finance people who have the experience to provide this kind of oversight.
This type of committee opens new doors for the organization to potential donors and supporters in the form of introductions to staff or a direct ask for support. Ideal members are willing to advocate for the organization in the community and connect it with people they know who might be interested.
The purpose of this kind of committee is to organize and execute fundraising events to benefit the organization. This committee should be full of people who enjoy party planning and have the time to dedicate to it.
This kind of committee rallies board members to make their own personal contributions to the organization. Committee members may be spearheading a board annual giving campaign or encouraging individual board members to tap their businesses, foundation connections, or government contacts for support. Members of this type of committee have influence with their peers on the board.
The best one for you? A development committee that is in line with the goals of your fundraising plan.
You want a committee to do it all? We don’t recommend it. Better to have one clear set of objectives and recruit people with the experience to meet them. Each of these committee types requires very different skill sets of their members. The right people for oversight may not be the right people to put on events!
If not, collaborate with committee members and staff to create focused objectives for the committee that support your fundraising strategy. We guarantee that volunteers will appreciate the clarity. You can even consider re-casting the committee with a new name to be more intentional about its goals.
What kind of development committee do you have? Is it in line with your fundraising strategy?