A couple of weeks ago I was proud to see President and COO of Hartsook Companies, Inc., Matt Beem, be honored as the Fundraiser of the Year in Kansas City—his hometown and Hartsook’s world headquarters.

Obviously we like it when any of our employees and clients is honored.  We have had several honored in this way across the country and worldwide.But Matt represents something of the coming of age in our profession.  He grew up knowing that he wanted to be a fundraiser.  From raising money for his church, to the Boys Scouts, to his University leadership . . . he always knew what he wanted to be “when he grew up.

”Why is this significant?  Because our profession is generally full of “Accidental Fundraisers”—people who proudly proclaim that they fell into fundraising, they never expected to be fundraisers, they didn’t choose it.

Well, while those fundraising professionals will probably always exist, people are choosing it.  They are getting their degrees in nonprofit management.  The field is changing fast and opportunities for improving our practice are growing.

When Matt accepted his award, he was clearly passionate.  And the roomful of fundraisers, community leaders and philanthropy clearly appreciated, respected, and liked him.

But what separates Matt and those like him who chose this profession from the others is a keen desire to combine the best of the “I done it this way” stories with the research to back them up and challenge the status quo. That’s a powerful combination, as recognized by the Association of Fundraising Professionals Mid-America Chapter, Kansas City when they honored him.

A new, “Intentional Fundraiser” is making a mark on the profession.  Matt Beem represents the best of them.  (By the way, Matt’s father, Terry Snapp, a Hartsook Consultant, won the Fundraiser of the Year award in a previous year, making them the first father and son to win the award in Kansas City).

Here’s a shout out to Matt Beem and his family!  The entire Hartsook team is beaming.