Host Julia Patrick welcomes Muhi Khwaja, one of the trainers at the Fundraising Academy at National University and Co-founder of the American Muslim Community Foundation (AMCF), and he provides insights on board treasurer selection, post-event practices, board onboarding, and board recruitment.
They begin by discussing the importance of finding the right treasurer for a nonprofit board. Muhi emphasizes the need to look for candidates with experience in nonprofit finance, compliance, and audit procedures. He suggests checking if potential treasurers have filed Form 990s, worked with nonprofits before, and have a CPA background.
Next, they address best practices for post-event activities, particularly after a gala. Muhi highlights the significance of stewardship in the donor cycle. He recommends sending personalized thank-you notes or emails to event attendees and donors, conducting surveys to gather feedback, and promptly following up with attendees and potential donors to build meaningful relationships.
Muhi also shares insights into onboarding new board members. He emphasizes the importance of a structured orientation process and discusses AMCF’s practice of having annual meetings and strategic planning sessions to reinforce board members’ roles and responsibilities.
Julia and Muhi then explore a unique question about whether the CEO or Executive Director of a nonprofit should have a vote on the board, agreeing that it’s generally not advisable for the CEO to have voting power on the board to maintain a clear separation of powers and avoid potential conflicts of interest.
The conversation shifts to AMCF’s current board recruitment efforts. Muhi explains that they are actively seeking board members with specific skill sets, such as marketing, philanthropy, and web development, to contribute to the organization’s growth. They also use a mentor-mentee approach to help new board members adapt to their roles.
Lastly, Muhi discusses AMCF’s upcoming event, the Muslim Philanthropy Awards and Annual Symposium. Scheduled for November 18th, 2023, the event celebrates Muslim-led organizations and explores the topic of endowments in philanthropy.