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Robert Hartsook, JD, EdD, DBA
Founder and Chairman

Bob Hartsook is one of most well-known fundraisers in the country today. He was recognized with the naming of the first academic Chair in Fundraising in the world: The Robert F. Hartsook Chair in Fundraising at the Center on Philanthropy at Indiana University. He established Hartsook Institutes for Fundraising, a multi-campus network of institutes dedicated to a knowledge, research, and competency-based curriculum designed to improve the quality of fundraising professionals.

Emporia State University honored Bob with their Distinguished Alumni Award; he was selected for the Indiana University Center on Philanthropy “Spirit of Philanthropy” Award; and he received an honorary doctorate of business from Plymouth University, United Kingdom. Bob holds a Bachelor of Arts in economics, a Master’s Degree in Counseling, a law degree and a Doctorate in Education. Bob is the author of numerous publications including his newest book, $231 Billion Raised and Counting, which he co-authored with Matthew J. Beem and Karin Cox.

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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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