Grateful for the Usual Scraps, Roger, Thank you, Sir!
Is Nobless Oblige Dead or Just in Remission?

Can or Should Fundraisers Rise Above Their Own Agenda?

I teach philanthropy now to both advisors and fundraisers. Advisors are trained to put the interest of clients above their own. (Some do, some don't, but that is the operative ideal.) I have been saying to fundraisers that, if they want to a seat at the planning table where the big dollars are planned, they too will have to serve not solicit the donor. They do that by letting go of a personal agenda long enough to learn what motivates the donor, to recommend advisory work when needed, and to suggest a mission match and charitable tools when and only when they fit in the larger planning picture. I wish I had a YouTube video montage of the faces fundraisers make when I talk like this. "Are you kidding me?" is the general attitude. In 1930 you could have gotten a similar look for suggesting that life insurance agents might ever be welcome at the estate planning table. Today, the best agents convene that table regularly. In sales we talk of bending over to pick up a dime while walking past a dollar. Small gifts can be solicited. Large gifts from assets are planned. Not being present when that happens makes getting that gift unlikely.