Wednesday, May 2, 2007

What is our role as fundraisers?

Yesterday, I attended a presentation at the Communities Foundation of Texas, entitled "Wealth in Families: Engaging Clients in the Big Questions." The presentation was delivered by Charles Collier, the Senior Philanthropy Advisor at Harvard.

My reactions were many and varied, ranging from my delight at learning how my own wealth is far greater than I had expected -- as Mr. Collier presented a four-tier model of wealth, in which financial wealth is only one aspect of a prism that also includes individuality, family and society -- to my rather terrified awakening to the reality of my organization's role within the lives of our wealthy donors. Their giving, Collier proposed, was more about *them* than about us.

More on this latter point in a later blog, I hope. However, for now I would point all fundraisers to this inciteful and honest blog on the same conference.... Phil Cubeta's reactions and insights truly astound me, as he explores the way that we asa fundraisers often fail in the nobler aspirtions of our calling:

Gift Hub: Charles Collier on Families, Wealth, and Philanthropy

Thank you, Phil, for your dedication to the craft of writing and to your pursuit of professional excellence.