How Much Money do People Really Give on Nonprofit Boards? Read BoardAssist’s Annual Report on Nonprofit Giving for all the Answers
How much money do people really give on nonprofit boards? We know you want to know! That’s why BoardAssist compiles this data every year from the hundreds of nonprofits we serve and shares it with the nonprofit community. Nonprofit leaders, current board members, and potential candidates are always intrigued by the results. This research also serves as a valuable tool in aiding nonprofits as they determine what levels of financial commitment are appropriate to request and realistic to attain.
Our biggest finding we continually observe and share every year:
You don’t need a trust fund or Roman numeral at the end of your name to sit on a nonprofit board.
The chart below summarizes data compiled from 242 nonprofit organizations that had requested BoardAssist’s counsel in selectively adding to their boards and were actively engaged in the search process on January 1, 2017.
With nearly 2 million nonprofit board seats opening up in the United States every year, board candidates interested in donating more than just their financial capital have a variety of choices. The great majority of candidates who approach BoardAssist are hoping to find a nonprofit where their intellectual capital will be their primary gift so this is great news for them.
Our findings demonstrate that the range of board seats available to candidates, at every level of financial commitment, is broader than one might think.
The good news is that many terrific, relatively affordable board openings exist. BoardAssist partners with organizations around the world, in every sector and at every size…and successfully places candidates at every intended giving level. Our work spans tiny nonprofits serving in Mali and Haiti, requiring a minimal financial commitment, to New York-based nonprofit household names that request significant funding from their board members, and everything in between.
We found that requested financial commitment from board members:
– Did not vary based on geographic location (local vs. national/international organizations);
– Was not weighted by sector (boards serving the arts did not ask for a greater financial commitment than boards in education, for example);
– Was not related to budget size; and
– Was not based on the years the nonprofit had been in existence.
The average BoardAssist candidate generates over $15,000/year for the nonprofit board they join, though they typically commit to generate under $5,000/year. We suspect this is the case across the nonprofit community; that board member financial commitments serve as a floor, not a ceiling, for actual giving.
From 2010-2017, well-established household names were generally the only clients who were able to successfully ask for $10,000 a year or more.
– The mission/geographic reach of a nonprofit does not typically impact how much a nonprofit asks board members to generate on an annual basis.
– Candidates who want to ease into nonprofit board service slowly, with a relative small financial commitment, don’t have to begin with a younger or smaller organization; conversely, many small, young nonprofits ask for substantial annual financial commitments.
– Nonprofits that are not a household name put themselves at a competitive disadvantage if they ask for more than $10,000 a year.