Should a Board Member be Required to Give Financially?

He said to them, “Do you bring in a lamp to put it under a bowl or a bed? Instead, don’t you put it on its stand? For whatever is hidden is meant to be disclosed, and whatever is concealed is meant to be brought out into the open. If anyone has ears to hear, let them hear.”

“Consider carefully what you hear,” he continued. “With the measure you use, it will be measured to you—and even more.

Mark 4:21-24

The board chair winced visibly. As a contract grant writer, I went to the board meeting for a brief training on grants and foundations. I had just asked how many board members give financially to the organization.

Board giving can be a difficult and controversial subject. Some boards require the board members to give financially. Others ask that if the member can’t give personally, they must solicit their network for that total. Generally, if a board is diverse and reflects the community you serve, then it’s expected to have some who have graduated from the program as well as those who have networking influence on your board. Your board could be comprised of those that give of their talent those that give of their treasure, and those that give purely time on your board.

On the other hand, it’s clear where people’s priorities lie by reviewing their pocketbook and their calendar. A committed board member should be giving to the nonprofit, even if it is a small amount, to show their loyalty. And, some foundations find this as a marker of a healthy organization and so they ask that question on their grant applications, “What percentage of your board gives financially?” Which is why I was asking if the board members of this new nonprofit were committed enough to give of their finances.

What I find in this today’s verse is that both positions can be correct; You can require board members to give, or you can bypass that requirement. What is more important is that board members are sharing about the organization. They should be the leaders when it comes to talking about what the nonprofit is doing and bringing light wherever they go as followers of Christ. Don’t put the lamp under a bowl; Share about the nonprofit as it is appropriate, whether you give financially or not. Step two is a financial gift that you are being led to give or helping others to give financially. There is no one correct way.

There’s a bonus lesson in this passage: What you bring to the nonprofit—to the service that God has called you to do—will be measured back to you. Maybe not directly dollar for dollar, but you’ll see the effects of what you pour into the nonprofit and share about the nonprofit. For example, you may take a friend to lunch and talk about the nonprofit. You gave your time and attention to the nonprofit with your friend. Unknowingly, your friend starts giving $10 per month to the organization because of your light, the excitement, you shared. The measure has been used, and some!

Can you remember a time you heard about a nonprofit from a board member? What was it about that conversation that showed their excitement for the nonprofit? Share it on Facebook @HopelesslyHopefulBooks.

Prayer: Jesus, I want to be useful and help Your kingdom grow. If that is through giving time, talent, or treasure to a nonprofit, lead the way! I’m right behind You.

Whether you give of your time, talent, or treasure begins with your core values. Join me next week on Thursday (2/4/21) at 5:30 pm PT/8:30 pm ET for a FREE webinar, Core Values Re-Imagined. Register here.

Photo by lucas Favre on Unsplash

© 2021, Mollie Bond. All rights reserved. Originally published at

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