Bob’s Blog

Dean Gene, Can You See the Standing Ovation?

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...

Getting on the Donor’s Side

It is second nature to Hartsook clients and followers:  the donor's challenges are our challenges. I met Martin Eby more than 30 years ago.  He was a very successful contractor in Wichita, succeeding his father in the company that exists today.  I would see Martin...

Gratitude Report: That Sounds Just Right

One of my new friends is Rozenne Prather, Director of Communications for Truman Medical Center Foundation. Rozenne joined the Foundation after many years as CEO of Catholic Charities Foundation in Kansas City.She proudly presented me with their "Gratitude Report" to...

It is a Calling

Lately, I have been thinking a lot about how lucky I am and how fortunate our clients are.I suppose I’ve earned a reputation for always thinking about fundraising and growing philanthropy.  The truth is, that’s probably the truth.  Most people wouldn’t be proud of...

Recognition Is Still Important

I have had trouble writing this blog.  For a number of reasons, the Paterno/Sandusky/Penn State/and you could add several other past leaders of Penn State debacle has been of interest to me.In my fundraising practice, I have served many domestic violence and child...

12 Attributes of Great Nonprofit Leaders

Frequently, I get calls about what makes a good executive director of a nonprofit.  My friend, Bill Moran, an experienced nonprofit management search executive, authored this excellent check list. Check it out here.

4 in 10 Charities Claim No Fundraising Costs on Tax Forms

The Chronicle on Philanthropy noted this week how many nonprofits with budgets of a million or more claim no fundraising costs. This is an issue that Hartsook Chair Adrian Sargeant has ranted about for nearly a decade. Thanks to Guidestar for routing it out.I have not...

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!”

Go here to read the full article