That is how we feel about our clients. Ever read the Berenstain Bears books to children? Our son, Austin, liked them a lot. If it was our turn to pick, we usually chose Learn About Strangers. Austin talked to everyone, and everyone loved talking him. (By the way, he still does). After letting him slip out of our sight a couple of times because he was engrossed in conversation, we grew very concerned about this.Austin would sit on my lap and I would read it to him, then we would go through the check list at the end of the book together. I would ask, “Austin, do you understand what to do when you see a stranger?”To which he would respond, “Yeah, Dad.”“Then why do you talk to everyone?”“They aren’t strangers, Dad! They want to be my friends.”Well, that is the way we are as a company. Our clients are our friends, our prospects become our friends, and many of our clients’ donors become friends. That is because we are genuinely interested in how we can help and be supportive of their dreams. You know what it is like to develop friendships. You have been doing it since you were born, haven’t you? In the best friendships, we say, “We are in this together.”Well, in our relationships, we are raising money together. And that, my friend, puts you in the thick of things pretty quickly.Sometimes prospects tell us, “You are so big. We are too small for you to care about us.”Nothing could be further from the truth.Sure, we are big, but we are the only consulting firm that has offered free service to struggling nonprofits in four states and the District of Columbia, helping 140 nonprofits in the first half of this year. Many were strangers—that is, until we got to know their dreams and helped them find ways to increase philanthropy, because they needed to serve those who were depending on them to fulfill their missions.We have walked side by side, “held the hands” of small nonprofits with only a few hundred thousand dollars of revenue, and helped them raise millions of dollars in a campaign.Our growth has been through helping all levels and sizes of nonprofits.Most of the people we worked with were strangers when we met. But they remained strangers only a short time. Raising money together has developed friendships that last a lifetime. More importantly, those friendships have changed lives in countless ways.Now, who wants to be friends?Let’s be friends on Facebook!
The Most Influential ‘Living Person’ in Philanthropy
Robert F. Hartsook Receives Honorary Doctorate of Business
Plymouth University, United Kingdom
Bob Hartsook was awarded an Honorary Doctorate of Business Administration by Plymouth University in Plymouth, England. The University described Bob as: “arguably the most influential living person improving the philanthropic donor experience.” Such global affirmation appropriately recognizes Bob and uniquely distinguishes Hartsook as the world’s fundraising counsel.”
Plymouth University honors individuals who have achieved great distinction in their professional lives and who have made contributions to society at large. In recognizing Bob Hartsook’s impressive achievements, the University has highlighted his service to the field of philanthropy, his promotion of academic study and research and his personal commitment to growing philanthropy around the world. Go here to learn more and view videos from this event.
Pictured: Karin Cox, Hartsook Senior Executive Vice President and Chief Creative Officer; Julian Chaudhuri, Deputy Vice-Chancellor, Education and Student Experience; Bob Hartsook; Adrian Sargeant, Professor of Fundraising at Plymouth University and the Director of the Hartsook Centre for Sustainable Philanthropy; Jen Shang, Philanthropic Psychologist and Director of Research at the University of Plymouth Hartsook Centre for Sustainable Philanthropy; Matthew J. Beem, Hartsook President and CEO.