Give the Next Generations of Fundraising a Seat at the Table
I recently had lunch with an individual who has a family foundation. We decided in advance that we would meet at his favorite local pizza place near where he lived. We also determined it would be dress-down day, and we both were very comfortable in our jeans. The clothing was perfect as the weather was horrible that day. It rained more than two inches in a 24-hour period.
As the rain was coming down, we talked about philanthropy, and he discussed how his family makes decisions regarding gifts. His late father created the foundation, and his 83-year-old mother still plays an important role in the operations of the foundation. It is truly a family affair.
He said he taught his three children philanthropy through the years by having them engage in charitable work of interest to them. In fact, he noted that when children in the family reach the age of 13, they are invited on the family foundation board as "junior members." They must participate by finding new charities to serve and be hands-on with the organization.
They are also given a dollar value of grant monies for distribution. They do not rubber-stamp someone else's thoughts. They must jump in and engage. That said, however, over time they must continue to earn their seats at the table. I thought this concept was especially important in teaching the next generation to serve and serve well.
In my current role, I work closely with an advisory board. On this board, I work with the son whose father who was a volunteer on an organization I represented 15 years earlier. In many ways, their views of the charitable world and personalities are amazingly the same. Fortunately for me, the son's caring for causes and gifts of time and treasure continues to increase. The retired father passed the lesson of giving to the son.
Duke has extensive experience as a nonprofit practitioner, author, educator and consultant. He has been a contributing author to NonProfit PRO for the last 10 years and has had the CFRE designation for the last 26 years. He has also been a member of the Association of Fundraising Professionals for over 35 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 done post graduate work at the University of Louisville.
He is currently executive director of development for The Salvation Army Indiana Division plus Adjunct Professor for Olivet Nazarene University. Contact Duke at firstname.lastname@example.org or 317-224-1029.