Read that headline again: Gene Tempel—long time Executive Director of the Center on Philanthropy, currently Indiana University Foundation President—has returned to his favorite assignment. But this time he is there to organize what so many of us have dreamed of for so long: a School of Philanthropy.Congratulations to Gene.The Growing Philanthropy Award for Founding the Growing Philanthropy Movement was given to Gene at the initial Growing Philanthropy Summit co-hosted by Blackbaud and Hartsook more than a year ago in Washington, DC. Gene was the moderator. As he has done for his entire career, as moderator of that event, he brought people together and unified ideas toward a common goal.Now, he has a chance to put an “!” on his already illustrious career.Hartsook has had a long, great relationship with Gene and has been a steadfast admirer of his leadership. Our mentor and Chair Emeritus, Art Frantzreb, was a founder of the Center and a pioneer in philanthropy. Hartsook is the major funder of the Fundraising Lectureship in his name at IU. Art started the first published list of million dollar gifts. After his firm was acquired by Hartsook, I agreed with him to give that List to the Center; it’s now an important asset of the new School.A few years ago, when Gene was recruiting Adrian Sargeant to IU’s Center of Philanthropy he asked me to endow the first Chair in Fundraising, which is now history. Of course, I did.At one time Hartsook was the largest individual donor to the Center. Maybe—since Gene has returned—we will be again.Gene has a lot to do, building a School on the foundation he created for the Center. We are all eager to hear his plans and directions. He’ll have good answers. But what Gene does best is ask the right questions. I’ve learned this over time, but this talent comes naturally him.Well, as a colleague of mine said, “It’s about freakin’ time.” I couldn’t have said it better.
Will You Be There When John Shamberg Calls?
A big part of fundraising is showing up and being available. I learned this lesson on a very memorable New Year’s Eve, a very long time ago.
As an eager young fundraiser working for Washburn University, I didn’t know that it was unusual still to be at work in the evening of December 31st. But, there I was.
Earlier that year, a graduate of Washburn University School of Law told me he was going to give a gift of land to his synagogue, a private K-12 school and Washburn. John Shamberg, who has since passed away, made millions of dollars for institutions all over the world, and he wanted to give a significant gift to organizations he valued. His 40 acres of land on the outskirts of Kansas City were valued at $450,000, and his intention was to give $150,000 each to three organizations.
He’d left the task to the last day of the year, but now he was ready to make it happen.
He called the synagogue. No answer.
He called the K-12 school. No answer.
Then, he called Washburn and got me.
“Bob,” he said, “you just won the jackpot!”
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