It is a Sunday afternoon. During football season, many don’t know is that I watch bowling the first quarter of the NFL game. I’m not embarrassed to tell you, I love bowling. So I watch for an hour or so the PBA, Professional Bowlers Association games.Well, today the intercollegiate game is being broadcast. It is Wichita State University vs. Some School in Indiana I have never heard of (good Catholic school). Looks like WSU will win its 11th national championship in 30 years. They have always been good.But they were not up to the task of the Hubbard Collingsworth and Lyle Dresher years ago at Emporia State University. In 1969 ESU won the NATIONAL COLLEGIAT E BOWLING TITLE. I used to have a jersey to prove it. Ron Loewen was a part of that support team at ESU.Why would I bring this up?You know my mind works in mysterious ways. ESU beat University of Kansas, WSU, Indiana, and many other schools to be the best. ESU was a little nothing in comparison to those other schools.But in bowling we were the best. We were the undisputable #1.Who would have known that I would be involved in three national championship teams? ESU Bowling, Wichita State University World Series Championship in 1989 (30 years after my bowling championship); and then in 2010, Hartsook Companies is the largest in the world.Each one of these victories marked an opportunity seized.That is where you have to be in fundraising. No excuses. No whining. No turning back.Your drive has to be pure, your goal has to be exact, and your reward, total victory.You can feel a lot of pride about how many times you’ve tried and how hard you’ve worked. Some of it may even look good on a resume.But ask anyone who’s breathed the air at the top: there’s nothing like being #1.
Will You Be There When John Shamberg Calls?
A big part of fundraising is showing up and being available. I learned this lesson on a very memorable New Year’s Eve, a very long time ago.
As an eager young fundraiser working for Washburn University, I didn’t know that it was unusual still to be at work in the evening of December 31st. But, there I was.
Earlier that year, a graduate of Washburn University School of Law told me he was going to give a gift of land to his synagogue, a private K-12 school and Washburn. John Shamberg, who has since passed away, made millions of dollars for institutions all over the world, and he wanted to give a significant gift to organizations he valued. His 40 acres of land on the outskirts of Kansas City were valued at $450,000, and his intention was to give $150,000 each to three organizations.
He’d left the task to the last day of the year, but now he was ready to make it happen.
He called the synagogue. No answer.
He called the K-12 school. No answer.
Then, he called Washburn and got me.
“Bob,” he said, “you just won the jackpot!”
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