Interview With Kenneth Grunke, Director of Individual and Major Giving, Pillars
FS: What advice would you give to organizations similar to yours, in size and annual operating budget?
KG: “Don’t make your annual-fund plan too complicated. Simple is better. With the number of fundraising opportunities that arise, potential staff turnover or increase in staff and change in management decision-making, your plan will need to be flexible without causing too much stress on your day-to-day operations.
Also, consider sharing your fundraising successes and solicitations with the agency’s staff at large. You would be surprised at the number of employees outside of your department who are interested in providing information about prospective donors who they have a relationship with or offer to help you launch your fundraising efforts.
Lastly, consider devoting a fundraising staff member to developing a young professional’s board or junior board of some kind. Many for-profit, young professionals want to be involved in a social cause and give back to society outside of their profession. With committing time to this initiative, you may find that this opens many opportunities in terms of relationship building and potential board prospects.”
Additional thoughts: “As many would agree, fundraising is an ever-changing (and rapidly changing) environment. I would strongly encourage professionals to continue seeking educational and professional development opportunities whenever possible. Many of them are even available free of charge in local communities. Online webinars are also another great, low-cost (or free) option.”
333 N. La Grange Road, Suite 1
La Grange Park, IL 60526
Staff: More than 250, with four committed exclusively to fundraising
Annual Operating Budget: $17 million
Annual Contributed Income: $1.4 million or 9 percent, with most income coming from local, state and federal grants
Mission: Pillars supports life change, learning and recovery for families and individuals of all ages in diverse communities. We are one comprehensive organization, providing accessible, integrated and culturally competent behavioral health, educational and social services.