Do Your Colleagues Inspire You?
You will meet many colleagues in the nonprofit business. If you are extremely fortunate, you will maintain relationships with valued colleagues for a number of years.
Besides just going to and from work each day, I encourage you to meet and engage with colleagues outside of work hours. When you do, your knowledge expands greatly.
I am blessed to have known Dr. Lilya Wagner for more than a quarter of a century now. We go back to when she was working for the Indiana University Center on Philanthropy and National Association for Community Leadership in Indianapolis. She has been an author, educator, consultant and director while playing other nonprofit leadership roles. She has many talents and is truly an international leader in the field of philanthropy.
She currently is the director of Philanthropic Service for Institutions, a trainer for The Fund Raising School, part of the philanthropic studies faculty of the Lilly Family School of Philanthropy at Indiana University, and teaches in the graduate program at St. Mary’s University in Minnesota.
Wagner has received many awards, including the Henry A. Rosso Medal for Lifetime Achievement in Ethical Fund Raising by the Indiana University Lilly Family School of Philanthropy. That award is given to selected individuals who have significantly advanced the fundraising profession on national and globe levels, in addition to having provided exceptional leadership in a long, productive career of distinction.
Her published writings include articles and books on philanthropy, fundraising and the nonprofit sector. She also has written books in other areas of interest, such as women war correspondents of World War II. As an editor and columnist, she has penned countless articles in the nonprofit field.
Her book, “Careers in Fundraising,” was a winner of the Skystone Ryan Research Prize, presented by the Association of Fundraising Professionals. I was fortunate to have contributed a page to this book, in which many nonprofit professionals provide their insights and thoughts regarding their tenures in the profession. It is a must read for anyone considering a career in the profession.
She recently released a new book, “Diversity and Philanthropy: Expanding the Circle of Giving,” that everyone in the profession should read. It discusses the effects of culture, traditions, nationalities and religions on generosity and philanthropy. The book reflects Wagner’s own background as a refugee and immigrant, her extensive global work through the Lilly Family School of Philanthropy with other organizations that brought her on as a consultant or trainer, and her interest in cultural differences and how they enrich civil society.
I have asked Wagner to speak a number of times for various purposes. We laugh at the memory of when she presented at my hospital foundation board retreat years ago. She had a two-hour presentation planned, and her materials were on the podium. The speaker before her was in a hurry to get to the airport, and when he quickly finished his talk, he mistakenly picked up her presentation and off he went. As the true professional she is, she talked for two hours without notes, and the board loved every minute of it.
At Wagner’s invitation, I recently directed a seminar for the Philanthropic Service for Institutions. I made sure my presentation was safe and sound on the podium!
In my various roles, I try to emulate Wagner. I have written many articles since my first one in 1979, but have never written a book. I am very envious of her. My goal is to write at least one book in this field at some point.
I am blessed to know my valued colleague. She truly has set an example of excellence in our profession in both theory and practice. Read her books and articles and you will gain a worldview of the profession.
The true joy of our nonprofit world should not just be the success of our jobs. It also should be the joy of colleague engagement throughout a career.
Duke has extensive experience as a nonprofit practitioner, author, lecturer and consultant. He has been a contributing author to NonProfit PRO for the last 11 years. He has been a long-standing member of the Association of Fundraising Professionals where he was previously named the AFP Indiana Chapter Fundraising Executive of the Year and has held the CFRE designation for many years.
He received his doctorate degree from West Virginia University with an emphasis in education administration, master's degree from Marshall University with an emphasis in public administration and a bachelor's degree from West Virginia University with an emphasis in marketing/management. He has also completed post graduate work at the University of Louisville.
He is currently executive director of development for The Salvation Army Indiana Division in Indianapolis, Indiana. Contact Duke at firstname.lastname@example.org or 317-224-1029.