I thought you would be interested the story, “Testing Donor’s Intent, 350 Years Later” from The Wall Street Journal.I have taken a couple of months off from writing my blog. Some of you have asked about my health, attitude, etc. I assure you all is fine. It took a violation of donor intent, now over 350 years old to awaken my writing about philanthropy again.I find myself a bit frustrated with how philanthropy, fundraising and nonprofits are being characterized and managed today. My pronouncements over a year ago about the threats on the charitable deduction are becoming more real every day. Meanwhile, many nonprofit leaders are surprised that the promises of “it won’t happen” continue to be wiped away.My instinct that fundraisers and nonprofits want to raise money get brushed aside in an argument about why rich people have money and have the right to say where it goes.Now this issue has reared its head in Ipswichip, Massachusetts 350 years later.I have written and spoken about fulfilling donor intent for years. Read the article, think about William Payne and what the best ways to fulfill his intent are. Was his intent to preserve the land or help the school? Did he believe the best way to preserve the schools was to preserve the land? Have the trustees of the land trust operated appropriately? And by the way, who is in charge of watching this? Politically ambitious attorney generals?What would you decide about this matter and more importantly, why?It’s not a matter of what you or any other person would have done if you were William Payne. Even from the grave, it is about what he wanted.That’s why it’s called donor intent.
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.