Recruiting Highly Committed Board Members and Engaging Them in the Fundraising Process
Thursday, May 4, 2017
10:00 am to 2:30 pm
Old Sturbridge Village, Sturbridge, MA
Presented by the Membership/Development/PR/Marketing PAG
Registration deadline: April 27, 2017

Your board can be a great resource for governance at at your museum and setting its strategic directions, and your board members may well have been recruited for their talents and their connections within the local and regional community. But do they regularly fill the roles you need them to fill, and fill them well? Are you getting the most out of their time with you? Could they do more?

If you often find yourself stretched thin and wishing you had more time or more staff to focus on fundraising, or wishing that your board members were more effective at fundraising, this workshop will provide a recipe for maximizing the engagement level of your board members and including them in a coordinated, effective fundraising process.

Registration Fees:  $65 NEMA Members; $95 Non-member; $50 Student



10:00 am       Coffee & Networking

10:15 am       Welcome & Introductions

10:20 am       Getting Good People on Board
Gayle Gifford, ACFRE; President, Cause & Effect Inc.

  • Designing your ideal board
  • Identifying and recruiting board members
  • Turning your recruits into engaged board members

11:45 am       Lunch Discussion

12:30 pm       Turning Board Members into Fundraisers
Elisabeth Saxe, Senior Vice President for Advancement, Mystic Seaport

  • The top 2 things fundraisers need board members to be and why
  • What it takes to turn board members into fundraising allies
  • Further cultivating and developing board members’ skills

2:00 pm       Post Workshop Coffee and Networking



Gayle L. Gifford, MS, ACFRE is a nationally known consultant, author, and trainer with more than 30 years of experience in board development, strategic and business planning, and fund development for the nonprofit and public sectors. Her arts and culture clients have included the House of the Seven Gables, WaterFire Providence, Rhode Island Museum of Science and Art, Herreshoff Marine Museum/America’s Cup Hall of Fame, and RI Latino Arts, among many others. Gayle teaches Management of Cultural Institutions in the Masters in Public Humanities and Cultural Studies program at Brown University. She is a co-researcher on the Alliance for Nonprofit Management’s study Voices of Board Chairs. As a long-time member of the Association of Fundraising Professionals, she holds its highest accreditation, the ACFRE. Gayle is author of two books and contributor to four others on nonprofit boards, management, and fundraising. Gayle is an active community volunteer and board chair at Blackstone Academy Charter School. She holds an MS in management from Antioch University New England.


A fundraising professional for over 30 years, Elisabeth Saxe brings broad and deep experience leading advancement programs for arts and culture organizations large and small. Since 2013, she has served as Senior Vice President for Advancement at Mystic Seaport overseeing a comprehensive fundraising program. Employing a “whole organization” approach, she and her Mystic Seaport Board Chair and Advancement Committee Chair have developed compelling ways for board and staff to collaborate resulting in exponential fundraising growth.