(Community Matters) Last night’s Give Back Jack event was organized by Austin Venture’s Chris Steiner for I Live Here, I Give Here. A hundred fifty-ish men gathered at Headliners to hear Tommie Meredith talk about philanthropy and then for dinner at a table with an appointed “mentor.”
I was a mentor along with Clarke Heidrick, Earl Maxwell, Gary Valdez, Gerry Newkirk, Jack Martin, Jeff Kodosky, Jeff Serra, Larry Temple, Marc Winkelman, Mark Strama, Phil Siegel, Steve Guengerich, Tom Meredith & Tom Segesta. Patsy Martin (founder of the organization) was everywhere in the background making sure it all happened smoothly.
Tom told several stories and gave a list of what makes an effective fundraiser: 1) true believer, 2) straight talker, good listener, 3) makes the ask, 4) recognizes it is a privilege to be able to ask, 5) cultivates before asking, 6) brings fun and satisfaction to the transaction. I’d add 7) knows prospect’s philanthropic interests and objectives so that brings opportunities which help accomplish these objectives. The latter changes the dynamic. Rather than the asker pitching a favor (“please give to one of my favorite nonprofits”), it’s: here’s an investment opportunity that helps you accomplish your objectives.
Super evening. My table included Bridgepoint’s Manuel Azuara, Wells Fargo’s Mark Inyre, Austin Ventures’s Russell Lemmer, vcfo’s Corey Blahuta and Focus Strategy’s Lathrop Smith (news flash: Lathrop moving to Maxwell, Locke & Ritter next month).
We discussed lots about philanthropy and getting involved. I especially promoted my philosophy that business people should find the intersection of 1) their passion, 2) their skills, 3) their business interests and 4) community needs – when initially identifying where to get involved.
I admit, I’m not such a fan of the website’s graphic (pic at top of story). Images of the 50s might be chic but they aren’t inclusive, nor signal such to people of color, gays or Jews. Though, I admit to having loved Mad Men’s first two seasons. Picture below is Michael Barnes’ of AV’s Russell Lemmer & Chris Steiner