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Kay Sprinkel Grace

Recent Posts by Kay Sprinkel Grace:

Inside the Mind of a Board Candidate: Seven Questions for Which You Need Ready Answers

Anyone you hope to recruit to your board has questions, often unspoken, that you need to answer if you want their meaningful commitment. I’ll focus on seven such questions here. In my book, The Ultimate Board Member’s Book, you’ll find others, as well as the answers board candidates find most satisfying.

Beware of “Truths” in Fundraising

Image by Drakeblack5 on Pixabay

Counterintuitive is usually defined as something contrary to what one would intuitively expect. For example, marketing pros discovered long ago that the fewer choices we’re presented with, the more likely we are to actually choose one, whether it’s a lot full of new cars or a shelf full of pasta sauces in the supermarket.

Fundraising is often counterintuitive as well. Here I’ll share four instances. In my book, The Busy Volunteer’s Guide to Fundraising, you’ll find a fuller discussion of many others.

Four Questions to Ask Every Prospective Board Member

Often in our haste to meet a deadline for recruiting board members, we whisk through the interview process or forego it entirely, relying on what we know about individuals through other connections or word of mouth.

Even when we believe we’re thorough, we tend to focus on the obvious rather than broach topics that are often better predictors of successful board service.

Helping Your Board Spring to Life

Every organization dreams of recruiting and retaining a board of visionary planners,
generous investors, willing askers, and passionate pragmatists.

Despite these yearnings, too many boards are assembled without a strategy. Board selection is pushed by a date when a “slate” must be presented. Frenzied phone calls result in the inappropriate recruitment of people who may be well intentioned but not able to propel the organization to the next level.

When It Comes to Fundraising, Volunteers Get It Right ... and Sometimes Wrong

Not all volunteers are alike, of course, but many share misconceptions when it comes to fundraising. I could point to several dozen as I do in my book, The Busy Volunteer’s Guide to Fundraising. But here, I’ll focus on three that rear their heads time and again in my training sessions with boards and committees across America. 

The Top Three Things Volunteers Need to Know about Fundraising

In my new book, The Busy Volunteer’s Guide to Fundraising, I discuss a range of truths that must be understood and taken to heart by the dedicated volunteers who help us raise money for our worthy causes. Here I’ll single out just three of the many truths. 

Never Lose Sight of These Bedrock Fundraising Truths


While some fundraising truths are relative to a community or cause, others are absolute, in my opinion. The three discussed below have relevance wherever you are and whatever you do. You’ll find a fuller examination of these and other fundraising truths in my book, Fundraising Mistakes that Bedevil All Boards (and Staff Too).

Motivating Boards to Raise Money

When I work with boards, we inevitably get around to discussing the issue of fundraising. "How many of you really like asking for money?" I ask. On a great day, one-third of the hands will go up. On an average day, one-fourth or fewer. The others groan, smile with embarrassment, and then tell me why they don't like to ask for money.

Although their reasons are understandable, they beg the question.

Questions I'm Most Often Asked about Boards and Fundraising

Boards and fundraising. It's a hot-button issue for almost everyone—from monolithic hospitals to closet-sized food pantries. In my years of consulting I've fielded hundreds if not thousands of questions on the subject. Here, I offer answers to the six questions I'm asked most often.

Cultivating the Ultimate Board: Interview with Kay Sprinkel Grace

Kay Sprinkel Grace, author of The Ultimate Board Member's Book, recently spoke with her publisher about nonprofit boards. GuideStar has published an excerpt from the book, and we're pleased to be able to share Ms. Grace's additional thoughts with you.

What's the most common mistake organizations make when recruiting board members?

Not fully describing what's expected in terms of their role and responsibilities. Too often we understate expectations because we want people to serve. That's self-defeating. Full disclosure from the beginning will bring you amazingly dedicated and committed board members. By the same token, understating the requirements ("You only have to come to meetings—the staff does everything else") will backfire and create resentment.