The opportunity to bring the philanthropic, nonprofit and fundraising fields together again has a much-desired new leader—one who was with us before. It is with great enthusiasm that I offer heartfelt congratulations to IU President Michael McRobbie (a fellow Australian) and my good friend Chancellor Charles Bantz who selected Gene Tempel to provide essential leadership, as the founding dean, to what will be the great new School of Philanthropy at Indiana University.Over the past few years as the nonprofit world has struggled to align itself with its economic status, diminished governmental support, creation of many sadly underfunded and under-supported nonprofit management programs (70% of nonprofit masters programs don’t require a course in fundraising) and a general malaise about the future, it is past time to bring back the man who crystallized a unified vision of the future with optimism, humility and resolve: Gene Tempel.Gene, I speak for thousands of leaders in the nonprofit field: Welcome back.Gene and I have talked several times and as you can tell, I am excited about his putting together this School at IU. I hope IU’s commitment to philanthropy and growing it in America and worldwide can once again establish IU as the true Center on philanthropy. We have the only Gene Tempel Scholar designation in the country); our Growing Philanthropy Award (Gene was a 2011 recipient); our Days of Service helping small nonprofits throughout America; and our active application of fundraising research with now 30 beta sites with nonprofits all over America. Hartsook Companies, Inc., under the leadership of President and CEO Matt Beem, joins me in that commitment.We believe that the Hartsook Chair in Fundraising will have an opportunity to once again thrive in this new School. We expect to see The Arthur Frantzreb Lecture Series be reignited to address important fundraising issues and the Million Dollar Gift Report—developed by our now deceased Hartsook Chairman Emeritus Frantzreb and given to the School—continue to grow in its relevance and impact.I have told Gene that as the plans for the new school unfold, in some way I want to lighten his load with support.Congrats Gene . . .sorry, make that Dean Tempel.
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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