Reading, Writing, Arithmetic and Philanthropy
During my tenure as a volunteer board member and as volunteer president of a public school foundation board of directors, I decided to visit with several school superintendents. The purpose of these visits was to determine how superintendents think about priority needs, community relations, volunteer engagement and the role a public school foundation should play. I had a sense that each superintendent would view my discussion in a somewhat similar way. Boy, was I wrong!
The first superintendent was very confident in his abilities. He spent two hours telling me how I should do my job. In truth, all he knew was how to ask for funds. He did not know how the total development process works. Another superintendent looked at me like I was from Mars. I asked him what he thought was the top philanthropic priority in the school system. He could not answer the question. When I asked another superintendent what her thoughts were regarding the role of a foundation, she said she never worked directly with a foundation. I was amazed at their responses, since each of these superintendents had a successful foundation operating in his or her respective school system.
Many public school foundations focus on direct mail, social media or special events such as a gala or golf tournament. When they receive net income after expenses, they typically provide grants for the benefit of teachers and students. In many cases, the same teachers apply for grants each year, and due to lack of broad-based support, a limited population of teachers and students benefit from this activity. I totally believe this program is important. That said, however, additional public school foundation priorities need financial attention.
Foundation fundraising programs should consist of elements encompassing annual gifts, major gifts, planned gifts and development services. The priorities for the school system also need to be expanded and owned by a variety of stakeholders. Some tips include:
Duke Haddad, Ed.D., CFRE, is currently associate director of development, director of capital campaigns and director of corporate development for The Salvation Army Indiana Division in Indianapolis. He also serves as president of Duke Haddad and Associates LLC and is a freelance instructor for Nonprofit Web Advisor.
He has been a contributing author to NonProfit PRO since 2008.
He received his doctorate degree from West Virginia University with an emphasis on education administration plus a dissertation on donor characteristics. He received a master’s degree from Marshall University with an emphasis on public administration plus a thesis on annual fund analysis. He secured a bachelor’s degree (cum laude) with an emphasis on marketing/management. He has done post graduate work at the University of Louisville.
Duke has received the Fundraising Executive of the Year Award, from the Association of Fundraising Professionals Indiana Chapter. He also was given the Outstanding West Virginian Award, Kentucky Colonel Award and Sagamore of the Wabash Award from the governors of West Virginia, Kentucky and Indiana, respectively, for his many career contributions in the field of philanthropy.