As you start reading this blog, understand that I know I am no Steve Jobs. Ask anyone — I was wearing those black mock turtle necks before he was.But his story gives me an opportunity to raise a point.Okay now that I have your attention, I want to talk about thinking.I hear you: Oh, no, Bob is on that “We need Thinking Fundraisers” training again. We get it. We don’t need to think about this again.Yeah, you do.Our country is in a financial crisis.Government support is going away from nonprofits, I just had a client in Tulsa who got a “no, not this year” from the feds. The charitable deduction level for the wealthiest is on the chopping block. Every state is reducing their support and turning to the private sector. Kansas just lost its federal arts funding. Not all of the Farm Bill was funded, leaving hunger agencies looking for money. Missouri cut its support of private colleges by 60 percent last year. State support of public universities has dropped so far one state college calls itself “state sited” rather than “state supported” or even “state assisted.”Blame the Republicans. Blame the President. Blame our Congress. Just blame.But why does it matter? No matter who or what you blame — or even if you don’t — the fact is, we are in trouble.When I was growing up, whenever I complained about something my mom would say (hear an Australian accent to get the full effect), “Robert, what are you going to do about it?” She was always the first to remind me that I had a responsibility. If I didn’t do anything about it, I had no complaining rights.By the way, she inspired the Hartsook Institutes, the only exclusively fundraising academic institution in the world. Another time, I’ll talk about all she inspired. Did you know she inspired the camera in your phone?Kidding, of course but I am trying to keep you on the Steve Jobs track.Even with all this economic difficulty, there is enough money for those causes that someone cares about. Contrary to popular belief, major gift fundraising is actually up.Soon, Hartsook will be releasing a Success Story on the creation of Initiative Fundraising and how it grows safety net institutions. Many look at the model and see it as a public relations gimmick or something they already do. It is neither. It is a way to respect donors as the major investors they are so you can raise the money needed to fulfill your mission.I’m still combing through everything I can about Steve Jobs and his life. I know if I look hard enough, he can inspire me about how to teach nonprofits that they can raise substantial sums of money doing something they didn’t know they needed to do.
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.