If you have followed my blog for any time, you know that I am a student of writing and a graduate of how not to write. I won’t bore you with how I prepare to write, but suffice it to say that writing doesn’t come naturally to me. Those of you who have read my writing are thinking, “Tell me something I didn’t know.” I may not know everything about writing, but I know when something is wrong—especially when it’s someone else’s writing!In the world of “how not to write,” here’s something that drives me crazy: stating the obvious and putting me to sleep.I cringe every time a highly respected national university issues news releases and information to their trustees. The thesis sentence is always, “Great University of a Terrific City has announced for its College of Dentistry a gift from a long time alum who has participated in many activities . . . who has earned the prestigious 19XX Nobel Prize in medicine for discovering a virus which causes severe disease, Dr. Bill Jones, of someplace we don’t care about, America.What’s wrong with this?1. We know what University it is. It’s email, so we saw the sender before we opened it.2. We know where the University is. We wouldn’t be reading it if we didn’t know.3. We are grateful this person has participated in many activities, but that is not the story.4. Does anybody not know the Nobel Prize? Does it need introduction?5. Who was awarded the prize? By the time we get to that, we’ve nodded off.After about a dozen of these, no one is reading them. And even more disheartening, no one cares.The Nobel Prize has been awarded to Dr. Bill Jones, ’70 alum of the Dentistry program for his research in denture place.Which would you read?I implore you to think about who you are talking to and what you want to say before you send something out. You can take every opportunity to communicate something substantive, worthwhile and memorable to your audience. Or not.
Hartsook President and CEO Matthew J. Beem Earns Ph.D.
Beem family: Joe, Matt, Kate,
Tom (not pictured, Maggie)
(Kansas City) Matt Beem recently earned a doctor of philosophy in organizational behavior and higher education administration from the University of Missouri – Kansas City. He defended his dissertation, Performance-Based Fundraiser Compensation: An Analysis of Preference, Prevalence and Effect, in December 2018.
Beem examined the preference for and prevalence of performance-based compensation and the relationship between it and productivity within the sample population of professional fundraisers. He reviewed the history of fundraiser compensation and prevalence of incentive pay in the nonprofit sector and among professional fundraisers, including its correlation to performance.
The Fundraiser Compensation Survey, an original study, was emailed by the Mid-America Chapter of Fundraising Professionals to more than 3,000 individuals. Findings revealed respondents’ dissatisfaction with the relationship between goal attainment, performance and compensation in their jobs. The study also found significant compensation differences based on respondents’ gender and ethnicity – findings different from research discussed in the literature review.
Beem’s dissertation adds important knowledge about the prevalence of and desire for performance-based compensation within the sample population. It also sheds light on the effect performance-based compensation has on the amount of money fundraisers raise.
Hartsook continues to be available to support nonprofit organizations in compensation plan design for its fundraisers, executive directors, CEOs and other senior leaders.