Well, when you get older, you find you’ve accumulated a lot of good and wonderful friends. Others my age brag about their grandchildren, but since I don’t have any yet (I’m very happy about that – my son is only 22!), I like to brag on my friends.A few weeks ago, my friend Bill Dunn and his wife Jean were selected as Philanthropists of the Year in Kansas City. Most of you don’t know Bill, but I do. He is a rare man. His philanthropy is personal, important, and vital.In anticipation of having the opportunity to say a few words about Bill at the awards banquet, I did some research. In the past 21 years, Bill, his wife, and each of his children—now even grandchildren are members of the leadership of his large construction company—have worked with our company on 612 occasions.When I announced this fact at the event, there was a standing ovation. While I would like for Bill to be involved in all my projects, he is not. With the Salvation Army alone, I can think of nearly a dozen projects in the Kansas City area in which the Dunn family was involved. Think about it: considering his service to his community, those 612 occasions are a drop in the bucket.I talk a lot about research, using data and pushing ourselves as fundraisers to elevate the profession by thinking, acting and being smarter. After all, it is no exaggeration to say we are a critical link in making sure there is enough to meet all of society’s needs. And we must continue to enforce the idea that there is enough—there is! It’s our job to find it, link those who care and have the capacity to impact change, and make sure our institutions are gracious and responsible recipients of these gifts.But every now and then I have to pause to step off my soap box.While pushing for and helping create a research and knowledge based education for fundraisers is certainly important, so is the impact of the Dunn family. But I understand that counting the Dunn’s projects borders on complete nonsense. We could drive ourselves mad trying to count the impact of these gifts—it is literally immeasurable.Bill and Jean, you embody the spirit of the award. Congratulations on your selection. You are much more than philanthropists of the year. In my book—and it’s a hefty one—you are Philanthropists of the Century.
Hartsook President and CEO Matthew J. Beem Earns Ph.D.
Beem family: Joe, Matt, Kate,
Tom (not pictured, Maggie)
(Kansas City) Matt Beem recently earned a doctor of philosophy in organizational behavior and higher education administration from the University of Missouri – Kansas City. He defended his dissertation, Performance-Based Fundraiser Compensation: An Analysis of Preference, Prevalence and Effect, in December 2018.
Beem examined the preference for and prevalence of performance-based compensation and the relationship between it and productivity within the sample population of professional fundraisers. He reviewed the history of fundraiser compensation and prevalence of incentive pay in the nonprofit sector and among professional fundraisers, including its correlation to performance.
The Fundraiser Compensation Survey, an original study, was emailed by the Mid-America Chapter of Fundraising Professionals to more than 3,000 individuals. Findings revealed respondents’ dissatisfaction with the relationship between goal attainment, performance and compensation in their jobs. The study also found significant compensation differences based on respondents’ gender and ethnicity – findings different from research discussed in the literature review.
Beem’s dissertation adds important knowledge about the prevalence of and desire for performance-based compensation within the sample population. It also sheds light on the effect performance-based compensation has on the amount of money fundraisers raise.
Hartsook continues to be available to support nonprofit organizations in compensation plan design for its fundraisers, executive directors, CEOs and other senior leaders.