I’ll admit, I think about fundraising all the time. It’s not easy being me, but no one seems to feel sorry for me. All kinds of thoughts are swirling around my head today and I can’t seem to find the “glue” to meld them into one comprehensive message. So today I’ll share three unrelated thoughts.Impact of High Income Deduction ChangeWhen it comes to research, where does common sense enter in?Another well established research body has assessed that gifting will be reduced by $3 billion to $6 billion per year as a result of the President’s plan to reduce the charitable deduction. You can read it for yourself. Really? We have already lost about $30 billion dollars because of this threat to gifting.Remember, two thirds of all gifts come from high net worth individuals with $200k annual income and $1 million in assets. You think these people who itemize haven’t been watching this debate and consistency of the President’s proposals? Giving is already going down in terms of long term pledges as a result of this pounding on the deduction.I am not in support of the President’s plan, but my clients are planning for the fall.You are right, I am self-centeredThis weekend a very good friend of mine attended an event in which they announced the completion of a $10 million project. Among the gifts was a $750k gift from a foundation that, from our experience, would have given $1.5 million to this project. Unless this institution is doing strange things that I am not aware of, the Foundation would have given them $750k more. We were not approached to be counsel, and I don’t know if anyone was.If they did this campaign alone, I am sure some trustee said, “Yea, we did this and didn’t have to hire an outside consultant. We saved $76,000.”And they lost $624,000.We aren’t perfect, but we know what we’re doing. I’m sure fundraising consultants like us aren’t alone, thinking about lost opportunity. I am sure doctors, lawyers, and financial planners look at stories like this in their venues and say the same thing. It is sad.Stop Reading the Gloom and DoomI will tell you what the press is going to say and you can save yourself hours of reading.”The economy is bad.”“It’s going to get worse.”“Fundraising is down.”Then they are going to tell you all kinds of gimmicks to improve your online work, or your endowments, or give priority to this or that.Hey, I’ll tell you the truth. Like all good businesses that succeed when others slip away, it comes down to Persistence and Tenacity.Got that?You better. Those who tell the fundraising success stories of this next year will.
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.