Ever get something you didn’t expect?Better, yet, ever give something you never expected to give?That is exactly what I will do next Monday.Wichitan Roger Lowe will receive the Hartsook Institutes Growing Philanthropy Award for Model Nonprofit CFO. Roger is the Senior Vice President of Wichita State University.Some of you know that periodically, Hartsook Institutes honors distinguished, model individuals and institutions that inspire expanded philanthropy with the international Growing Philanthropy Award.Hartsook’s good friend, Wichita State University President Don Beggs nominated our long time mutual friend for the Growing Philanthropy Award for Model Nonprofit Chief Financial Officer. In his nomination of Roger, President Beggs talked about selflessness, collaboration, and collegiality. The Hartsook Institutes International Board of Visitors — with representatives from Sydney, Singapore, Cape Town, London and the US — agreed. Thus, they bestowed the Growing Philanthropy Award on Roger Lowe.Roger will be the tenth recipient of the GPA (no, GPA is not Grade Point Average in this case; it’s Growing Philanthropy Award . . . though I suspect he had a high GPA at Pittsburg State Unversity in Kansas where he graduated a many years ago). Other recipients of the GPA include the Kresge Foundation of Troy Michigan; Gene Tempel, the founder of the Center on Philanthropy at Indiana University; Gerald Franklin of Houston, the major benefactor of the Ohio-based Exchange Clubs Foundation for Child Abuse Prevention; Chicago-based Feeding America’s top Food Bank and others. Obviously, Roger joins a prestigious and distinguished club.While this award is obviously well-deserved, it is personal, too. Roger was CFO of Wichita State when I was there, so I personally second Don’s comments. I am sure I will write more on this, but as an example, during our time together we developed funding for over 30 buildings and renovations on the WSU campus in just five years. Not a bad for a couple of Kansas boys. I am currently writing an essay about the combined power of a CFO and a Fundraiser. Working together to advance a mission, there is little they can’t accomplish.Congratulations, Roger, along with a special thanks from me. Take this in stride.For me, the anticipation of giving Roger this long-deserved recognition at a special Hartsook Institutes event on National Philanthropy Day in Wichita on November 7 makes me feel like a kid waiting for Christmas morning.Wow. It truly is better to give than to receive.
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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