Advice to Live By
After receiving an Honorary Doctorate of Business from the University of Plymouth in the United Kingdom, I had the privilege of sharing with the graduating class three principles that have guided me throughout my career.
These “rules to live by” are timeless and priceless. They have served me well, and I hope they will be an encouragement to you as well:
Don’t limit yourself.
There are a lot of people who will try to box you in and weigh you down with a thousand things you can’t do. Here’s what you can’t do: anything illegal, immoral, unethical, or discriminatory. If it isn’t one of those things, then the world is wide open to you. Outside of these lines, you are limited only by your imagination and will to succeed.
I learned a valuable principle from an old country doctor in western Kansas when I was twenty-four and vice president of a college. I had a job men and women twice my age aspired to – and I was giving it up to go to law school. Now, when you make decisions to abandon security for the unknown, you want to be told how smart and wise you are. Instead, I was told it was a “courageous” thing to do. This was not the compliment I was looking for. Courage? But next, he said, “You know, Bob, you have learned what few in life ever learn. There is no security. There is only opportunity.” This wisdom – and my courage – set the course for my life. There is no security. There is only opportunity.
Before we started the Hartsook, one of the last college presidents I worked for, told me something I have returned to over and over. I am continually reminded of his advice: “Don’t worry about calling people names or blaming others for the way things are. Success is the greatest revenge.” After he passed away, I called his wife to convey how much he had meant to me. She said: “Bob, he would be so proud of you. You’ve lived it: Success is the greatest revenge.”
Don’t limit yourself. Seize opportunities. Stay focused. Make this your year to succeed!
Next stops on the road to achieving Hartsook’s mission of growing philanthropy by 25 percent in the next 20 years:
February 20, 2018
March 21-23, 2018
NSFA National Conference
May 23-25, 2018
Boy Scouts of America Annual Meeting
June 18-19, 2018
NHH – Norwegian School of Economics
June 21-22, 2018
National Taiwan University
June 25-26, 2018
BX2018, Australian Government
Keynote: John List
July 18-19, 2018
2018 Virginia Fund Raising Institute Conference
Lead Sponsor: Hartsook
August 13-24, 2018
August 29-31, 2018
Boy Scouts of America Top Hands
September 19-20, 2018
Science of Philanthropy Institute Conference 2018
October 5-6, 2018
Advances with Field Experiments
October 16-18, 2018
University of Basel
8th Bernoulli Lecture for the Behavioral Sciences
Resources for Smart Fundraising Available on Kindle
Keep up to date on the latest fundraising trends with the Kindle ASR Media collection:
- Reality Fundraising – Ideas, insights and lessons learned through hundreds of best practices from nonprofit professionals nationwide by Bob Hartsook
- Fundraising Leadership – The definitive source for empowering board members to become pro-active fundraising leaders by Karin L. Cox
- Getting Your Ducks in a Row – A tool box of strategies for effective campaign fundraising by Bob Hartsook
- Million Dollar Gifts – Real-life stories of million-dollar gifts that will amaze and inspire your fundraising by Bob Hartsook
- Closing that Gift – “29 secrets” to closing a gift and avoiding the top 10 solicitation mistakes by Bob Hartsook
- Performance-Driven Fundraising – Handy, yet entertaining reference tool for new and seasoned fundraisers by Matthew J. Beem
- Nobody Wants to Give Money Away! – Stories, humor and more than two decades of fundraising experience in which Bob explores the nine fundraising truths essential to success by Bob Hartsook
- On The Money! – An enlightening collection of success stories and lessons learned from nonprofit fundraising campaigns nationwide by Bob Hartsook
- $231 Billion Raised and Counting – by Bob Hartsook, Matthew J. Beem, Karin Cox and over a dozen Hartsook consultants and clients. Hartsook shares stories and “Strategies for Success” that will educate and inspire
Book Deal of the Month
In Nobody Wants to Give Money Away! (ASR Media), Hartsook Chair Bob Hartsook, details his nine principles for raising major gifts, starting with, “Nobody wants to give away money.” Learn the principles that helped him raise billions of dollars. Go here for a special price of $10 (plus shipping and handling).
On the Web
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Visit the Hartsook website for:
– Educational opportunities
– Books/reference articles
– Conference/workshop speakers
Strategies for Success explores smart ideas, connecting with thousands of fundraising professionals. We welcome your best practices contributions or comments. Send to Strategies for Success editor Karin Cox, [email protected]. If you’d like a free subscription to Strategies for Success or its monthly companion, eHartsook on Philanthropy, contact [email protected].