Posted , by Wendy McGrady. Topic: Arts & Culture, Boards of Directors.

In last week’s blog post, a board member talked about his expectations and role within a board. He shared his thoughts during a panel discussion that Keith and I led as part of a workshop for the Virginia Association of Museum’s Annual Conference. Friends and clients, Page Hayhurst, Executive Director, Carolyn Cuthrell, Director of Development, and Joe Witt, Board Member, from the Virginia Living Museum participated in the panel discussion. This week, we will share with you a few important points that Page and Carolyn discussed with the audience.

Carolyn stressed the importance of donor research. Find out everything you possibly can before you contact a donor or prospect. Identify the hidden resources within your organization. Who has a connection to the donor? Compile and maintain all of this information in a donor profile within your database. The next step is to identify the right person to approach the donor—this can be the most critical step. Think about who can leverage their relationship the very best. Friends give to friends.

In Page’s role as Executive Director, one of the most important tasks she is entrusted with is “making sure the house is in order.” She explained that by having everything in order, you will increase your credibiliy and your donors will have more confidence in the leadership of your organization.

We asked Carolyn and Page, “From a staff standpoint, what do you need from your board?” they both contributed to the response. “We need commitment and enthusiasm. And, we all need to be moving in the same direction in support of our mission.”

Thank you Page, Carolyn, and Joe for participating in the panel and sharing your sound advice.

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