This Power of Philanthropy blog space is dedicated to sharing the stories and learning the lessons of organizations and individuals who have improved the lives of others through meaningful and tangible acts of generosity.

Hartsook is dedicated to helping nonprofit organizations increase philanthropic support across the United States and around the world. Our goal is to see nonprofits successfully increase and advance their missions. We consider ourselves fortunate to work with thousands of volunteers, donors and nonprofits as, together, we unleash the Power of Philanthropy.

We look forward to sharing the thoughts of donors and volunteers, clients and Hartsook team members—offering positive dialogue and inspiration.

Thank you for all you do to unleash the Power of Philanthropy!

Check this space regularly for new posts, and take some time to share your own reflections and opinions. Please send your stories and insights to [email protected].

We’re going to do it!

Harvesters is a food bank for the Kansas City region—a large warehouse-transportation distribution center for partners who provide food to those they serve. Before the pandemic, we’d been used to addressing natural disasters. Groups would rally to areas, so we had practice with that, but we had never faced a combination economic, health and education…

Looking for a Leader

When a major fundraising campaign begins, one of the first tasks is to find leaders who can take on the tremendous challenge of seeing it through to the end. The question around the table is: Who will find this cause worthy enough to volunteer, knowing there will be challenges, frustrations and disappointments—along with the unbelievable…

Listen Well, and Write It Down

I was probably 13-years old when I first heard the song on the radio, I Need Love, by LL Cool J. I liked the beat and melody, but I did not, initially, pay much attention to the words. It was not until I heard some guys in my class rap the lyrics that I felt compelled…

Make the Call

With a deep breath—heart pounding—I dialed the phone number. He answered on the first ring. An introverted young grant writer, calling the direct line of the director of a major foundation, on behalf of a nearly unknown nonprofit, was intimidating at best. It wasn’t my first call, but I will always remember it as a…

Here’s to a Great Year!

Last year, which—for many—is fading quickly in the rear view mirror, was certainly a challenge. But it also offered invaluable opportunities to learn and grow, lessons that should not be forgotten. As nonprofit donors, volunteers and fundraisers, we discovered much about ourselves and our organizations in 2020. We learned up-close and personally (even while being…

Happy to Help

I recently heard my daughter tell some of her classmates what her mom did for work: “She’s a helper.” I love that description. It’s my mission and, apparently, my job. It is also an example of the power of philanthropy to positivity influence so many people—not only those served by nonprofits, but the donors, volunteers…

Transparency and Appreciation as Forces for Philanthropy

As a gender-inclusive fraternal organization, Alpha Phi Omega’s members improve the world one community service project at a time. Not surprisingly, our revenue took a big hit when college campuses switched to a virtual format due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Our annual fund is supported through direct mail to our alumni members. We rely on…

Why You Do What You Do

My husband and I attended an event several years ago when I noticed a young woman sitting at a picnic table nearby, alone and crying. I walked over to check in, and her story spilled out. She and her boyfriend had moved there from another state, because they heard a company in town was hiring.…

Philanthropy Is a Labor of Love

I remember a time, as a child, when friends brought over boxes of food for our family. In my 11- or 12-year-old mind, I thought, “How nice that they brought us all this great stuff!” Looking back, I recognized that my parents had been going through a rough patch, financially, and they had needed the…

Investing in Our Neighbors

Great things can begin with small steps, and there is a multiplying factor when fundraisers, donors and nonprofits each do their part, while pulling together. In 2016, I was part of a community work group. Many of us have participated in committees like this. There was a common desire to do good, help people and…

The Power of Philanthropy to Enrich Our Lives

As a fundraising consultant, I understand the value of connecting donors with nonprofit missions that matter to them. I know what it means to organizations to receive financial funding, but more than that—to receive enthusiastic support from donors whose gifts convey respect and appreciation for the nonprofit’s work. I also know what it means as…

It’s Not What You Gather, It’s What You Scatter

I grew up in a large family. We lived modestly, but always had the essentials of life and made the most of our circumstances. Even though my parents had a limited income, they made sure to give their time and money to charitable causes. They paid a full tithe to the church, and participated regularly…

Perinatal Hospice

As fundraisers, we are often given a front row view of the positive impact of donors’ gifts and the power of philanthropy to change lives profoundly. Each of us encounters the power of philanthropy in our own space and time. In my case, I was working at Kansas City Hospice, as the first full-time grant…

Tailored Appreciation

One day, while stopping by my son’s elementary school, I struck up a conversation with two of his friends. One of the boys was wearing his school uniform; the other boy was wearing jeans and a t-shirt. Since this was an unusual occurrence, I asked them about it. The one young man, wearing his street…

‘Tis the Season…

As the holiday season quickly approaches, everywhere, we see this reminder: ‘Tis the Season… We see it in commercials, newspaper ads, online banners, social media, billboards and numerous other platforms that draw our attention to the commercial side of the holidays. For nonprofits, ‘Tis the Season… is even more important and meaningful. As a major…

Why Give?

The following was adapted from a presentation I had the pleasure of making during Mi Esperanza’s gala fundraiser, Passport to Hope, in Covington, Louisiana. Mi Esperanza means MY HOPE and began in 2002 with a vision to provide life-sustaining change in the lives of women in the villages surrounding Tegucigalpa, Honduras. Everyone benefits from giving:…

The Power of Philanthropy™

I was at the library near my home on a recent Saturday morning wrapping up loose ends before a week on the road. I often tuck into my local branch on weekends to thin my briefcase. I looked up from my computer and saw a man walking slowly through the lobby toward the restrooms and…

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