Q-and-A With Award Winners
What were your greatest fundraising challenges? During the 9/11 crisis, our VP of marketing mandated that we would “stay the course” with regard to our fundraising strategy for the holidays. This felt very risky at the time. Nonetheless, it really worked out for us. I learned a lot from that experience.
What is the fundraising accomplishment you are most proud of? Meeting our fiscal year ’06 income goal in six months.
How would those close to you describe you? A happy person.
Where did you grow up? In a triple-decker in East Boston where my parents still live today!
What is your fundraising/consulting experience? My fundraising experience (where I ask people for money) is limited to a few capital campaigns for organizations I’m on the board of. However, for the past 30 years, I have had the privilege of working closely with many of the best fundraisers in the business, in my role as a software and analytics provider. I learned the basics of membership from Lo Hartnett at WGBH [Boston’s public broadcasting station] in 1979 but have had the opportunity to work with Jon Abbott and Roberta MacCarthy at WGBH, Ed Mills at U.S. Committee for UNICEF and later at WNET, Lee Weiner at the Anti-Defamation League, and the great teams of fundraisers at The Nature Conservancy, American Diabetes Association and so many other organizations.
In addition, through my annual donorCentrics benchmarking business, I have been privileged to have an inside view of the fundraising practices of 500 of the best-run nonprofits in the country, from Harvard and Princeton to American Cancer Society and The Nature Conservancy.
What is your education? B.A. in applied math and statistics from Harvard College, and an EdM from Harvard Graduate School of Education
Who are your role models? Jon Abbott, soon to be the general manager at WGBH, is an extraordinary visionary in public broadcasting. He was the primary impetus behind the development of Team Approach [a software application that enables nonprofit organizations to organize and manage a great deal of detailed constituent information.] Chris Dann of Drakes Bay Fundraising is another role model. I’ve known Chris for nearly 25 years; he is an incredible strategist and has great insights into philanthropy.