News and Messages

2020

CEO Message: Lessons Learned While Leaning Into the Headwinds
June 2, 2020 – Matthew J. Beem, PhD, CFRE

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It’s been two months since our lives were changed – radically and suddenly. Everyone has faced new and unfamiliar challenges.

Since COVID-19 became our new reality, I’ve been impressed by the courage, conviction and tenacity of frontline fundraisers who passionately believe in the power of philanthropy.

I’ve also been encouraged by the new, meaningful interactions between nonprofit organizations and donors – all eager to be an essential part of the important work taking place. There are always reasons to be grateful, but I have been humbled by the extraordinary generosity on display in recent months.

Several principles have emerged that may benefit you in your work advancing your organization’s important mission. I call them “lessons learned while leaning into the headwinds.”

Headwinds blow directly against us, creating oppositional, forward motion. Flying directly into a headwind provides lift that works against gravity. Think of Newton’s Third Law: For every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction.

There always will be headwinds of opposition for raising money: “It’s not the right time, because …” Researchers have found that sadness and fear trigger a part of the brain connected to memory, making negative memories more vivid than positive ones. It, literally, comes more naturally to be negative than positive.

“Headwinds” of negativity come at us all the time. But as we lean in and move forward, we can gain new heights.

I’ve learned the following lessons from leaning into the headwinds, continuing to champion nonprofits and encouraging them to raise their sights:

Committed fundraisers give donors courage.

A courageous fundraiser gives donors confidence that a nonprofit’s mission will continue into the future. By keeping donors informed, and inviting them to consider supporting the organizations they care about, fundraisers convey an assurance that even COVID-19 cannot deter a nonprofit’s important work.

Difficulty amplifies opportunities.

For many organizations, the onset of COVID-19 has provided a platform for sharing the positive impact they make in people’s lives and expressing their mission in clearer, more meaningful terms. Many nonprofits – whether direct service agencies or arts organizations – exist to support people and lift them up, especially in difficult times like those we are experiencing now. Don’t be shy about sharing your nonprofit’s story.

Courageous donors have responded with remarkable generosity.

In the last several months, the responses of donors to various organizations – nonprofits that have continued to present their cases and distinguished the importance of their missions – has been remarkable. It has been my honor to work with organizations that have inspired million-dollar gifts from business owners wanting to ensure families are fed and foundations giving to special programs and operating needs to ensure individuals continue to receive the critical supports they need. Additionally, major gifts have gone to important capital expansion initiatives in the last two months, clearly signaling the belief of philanthropists that we are stronger than this pandemic.

One of the most impactful lessons from our company’s Founder and Chairman Emeritus Bob Hartsook is his conviction that: “There is no security. Only opportunity.” While always true, this has become self-evident in recent months.

There is still opportunity everywhere… that is, if we are willing to move against the headwinds of doubt, hesitation and naysaying.

According to the most recent U.S. Trust Study of High Net-worth Philanthropy conducted in partnership with the Indiana University Lilly Family School of Philanthropy, the overwhelming majority of American high net-worth households (90%) make charitable donations. Their four top reasons for giving:

  • Belief in the mission of an organization.
  • Belief that their gift can make a difference.
  • Support for the same cause or organization annually.
  • To experience personal satisfaction, enjoyment or fulfillment.

Additionally, one of their greatest needs is to receive knowledge and advice about giving and to become more familiar with nonprofits and how they serve their constituents’ needs. That’s where you come in.

Donors are looking for fundraising leaders who can demonstrate needs, solutions and outcomes. Nearly every time donors are asked what helped them come to a decision about giving, the fundraiser’s role is mentioned.

Right now, we are on the fundraising frontlines of an extraordinary time – an opportunity to give donors the personal satisfaction, enjoyment and fulfillment of giving gifts of significance.

I commend you for all you have done in recent weeks and all you will do in the months ahead. Continue moving forward, serving as bold representatives of the causes you represent.

Pick up speed and proceed with confidence, even against headwinds of doubt. Let them lift you and elevate your organization, as we work together to unleash the unstoppable power of philanthropy for nonprofits across the country and around the world.

Hartsook Hires P. Kevin Williamson, Associate Consultant
April 9, 2020

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Hartsook is pleased to welcome P. Kevin Williamson, the most recent addition to its executive consulting team.

Leveraging over twenty years of professional fundraising experience, Kevin will help Hartsook clients advance their missions through major gifts and campaign fundraising. He also will provide counsel on specialized areas such as events, strategic corporate sponsorships and foundation grants. His wide range of expertise includes major gift solicitation, event planning, strategic planning and board development.

In addition to his role with Hartsook, he serves as the Assistant Vice Chancellor for Major Gifts at North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University. He has been responsible for securing millions of dollars for nonprofits including Boy Scouts of America, YMCA, Omega Psi Phi Fraternity and Boys & Girls Club, and has provided professional fundraising guidance to numerous regional clients. Kevin received a Bachelor of Arts in English from North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University.

Commemorating More Than Three Decades of Fundraising Service
April 1, 2020

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Since Hartsook’s founding on April 1, 1987 – 33 years ago today – we have helped thousands of nonprofit clients navigate deeply difficult times. The Black Monday stock market crash in 1987. The dot-com tech-bubble burst in the late 1990s. The terror of 9/11 in 2001. The housing collapse in 2008 that sparked the Great Recession.

Over the last three decades, Hartsook has guided nonprofit organizations through seasons of prosperity and times of uncertainty using research-based, proven strategies.

With the advent of the COVID-19 pandemic, nonprofits are needed now more than ever to address urgent and divergent social, financial and health needs. Your mission matters. Your constituents need your programs to continue unabated, or even grow. You need to be raising money, but you may have serious questions and concerns. At this important time, we invite you to contact Hartsook to answer your questions and provide fundraising counsel for your nonprofit.

CEO Message: Moving Forward Together
March 18, 2020 – Matthew J. Beem, PhD, CFRE

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We’ve been here before, you and I.

The Black Monday stock market crash in 1987. The dot-com tech-bubble burst in the late 1990s. The terror of 9/11 in 2001. The housing collapse in 2008 that sparked the Great Recession.

Hartsook has experienced numerous cycles of uncertainty during its 33 years helping nonprofit organizations raise more money and change more lives.

Now, with the advent of COVID-19, we face new challenges together.

In addition to health concerns, we’re all juggling the demanding and surreal task of moving forward while staying put. It’s a time to be wise. Not panicked, not passive… but wise.

At Hartsook, much wisdom comes from much experience.

Stay Put… Move Forward

With minute-by-minute updates on the virus, we are all dealing with the strange new necessity of adjusting our lives and schedules between opposing priorities: stay put… move forward… stay put… move forward.

In one way, it’s what nonprofits do every day. They adapt to meet the need.

Only now, everything is heightened and amplified.

Here are five time-tested principles to guide our fundraising decision-making as we navigate this season together.

1. Keep working.

Don’t pause or pull back from fundraising. Lean into it. As unlikely as it sounds, we will face greater challenges in the future than we do today. Anyone who experienced the aftermath of 9/11 or the Great Recession remembers the fear and uncertainty. It was tempting then, as it is today, to become paralyzed.

Fortunately, our firm was founded in 1987 by two consummate optimists, Bob Hartsook and Karin Cox. They declared without equivocation: “Full steam ahead!”

As a result:

  • Hartsook raised $100 million for Wichita State University in the late 1980s, even with the 1987 economic crash.
  • Despite the dot-com tech-bubble burst in the late 1990s, Hartsook guided The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art through a $200-million campaign that expanded its space by more than 55%.
  • Following 9/11, another Hartsook client, Harvesters, raised $5 million more than its annual budget.
  • Hartsook raised $500 million in foundation challenge grants following the Great Recession, because other organizations had pushed pause while we pressed on.

Hartsook clients have raised money during every cycle of uncertainty. Some raised even more than they would have otherwise because – unlike other organizations – they leaned into the unknown and believed in the essential nature of their missions and the power of philanthropy.

Keep working.

2. Keep cultivating.

Uncertainty has a way of bringing priorities to the surface. It doesn’t diminish the importance of the work you do; it magnifies it.

Use this time of collective concern to underscore the tangible ways your nonprofit changes lives for the better. Reach out to donors with meaningful messages of care and consideration. Plant virtual seeds today that can be harvested in person tomorrow.

Keep cultivating.

3. Keep thinking.

Stay positive, flexible and imaginative. If donors express uncertainty about their ability to fulfill pledges, be open to extending fulfillment periods. Communicate the importance of continuing to give, even if periodic gifts are smaller and pledge fulfillment windows expand.

Review your existing campaign commitments and, if donors are concerned, create alternative pledge fulfillment plans.

Keep thinking.

4. Keep asking.

“Nothing” doesn’t exist. While theorists and scientists may debate Aristotle’s postulate that “nature abhors a vacuum,” we know it’s a fact in fundraising. Something will fill the void.

No matter what’s going on in the world, someone will move into the empty space. Make sure it’s you.

Remember:

  • There always will be people making money.
  • There always will be needs to be met and people who need help.
  • People want to make a difference in the world.
  • People give to people not projects.
  • People give, because they are asked.

Keep asking.

5. Keep communicating.

Communication conveys appreciation, so stay in touch with donors. Fashion your donor solicitation messages around the importance of what you do, especially now.

Develop messages that highlight how your services change lives. If you need help, contact Hartsook for assistance crafting solicitation strategies that include specific goals and accountabilities.

We know benchmark funders receive fewer requests in times like this, because many organizations sit out the storm and dial down fundraising activities. Their loss can be your gain.

This is also a great time to reach out to prospective donors. Make yourself more connected and available than ever by phone, email and on social media.

Keep communicating.

What You Do Matters

At times like this, we search our souls and reprioritize how we spend our time and resources. Estate plans are being retooled, and major gifts are still available. Donors are more alert to the needs of others in ways that will dissipate over time. Make an effort to connect with them during this window of heightened concern.

Thankfully, this season of uncertainty will not last forever. Leverage the lull, and use your time wisely to keep making a difference. With more down time, this is the ideal opportunity to make some calls, check in on donors, hear what they have to say and see how you can help.

And if your nonprofit needs answers, advice or encouragement, contact us. We’ve helped our clients succeed in times of prosperity and through cycles of uncertainty, and we’re here today to help you.

 


2019
 

Hartsook Hires Dave Smith, Senior Executive Vice President
September 26, 2019

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Hartsook is pleased to welcome Dave Smith, the most recent addition to our executive consulting team. He brings a nationally recognized, stellar reputation for organizational leadership and mission-focused fundraising. Based on his 45-plus years in the industry, Dave offers a full range of nonprofit management services including board development, strategic and growth planning, executive coaching and leadership transition that will be available to Hartsook clients as applicable and needed.

While he will work with organizations of every size and scope, Dave will focus his energies on Hartsook’s work with Boys & Girls Clubs organizations. He plans to combine his own vast experience and skills with Hartsook’s top-level fundraising resources and client support team to advance fundraising within his large network of nonprofit relationships around the country.

Dave served as President of the Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Kansas City for nearly 25 years. Under his leadership, the Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Kansas City grew its annual operating revenue from $1 million to more than $8 million and its net assets from $2.5 million to $18 million. He oversaw five successful capital campaigns, raising more than $35 million. Prior to his decades with the Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Kansas City, he worked with the YMCA of Greater Kansas City for 12 years and served as Vice President-Resource and Community Development.

Dave received his bachelor’s and master’s degree in communications from the University of Missouri-Kansas City where he held multiple leadership roles at the University including College of Arts and Science instructor and Sports Information Director. He was elected to the Kansas City, Missouri School Board as an at-large member in 2002; re-elected in 2006; and served two terms as KCPS School Board President.

Hartsook Hires Brenda Lesan, Vice President of Grant Writing and Research
August 12, 2019

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Brenda Lesan has 15 years of foundation/grant experience, both inside a private foundation and for global nonprofit organizations. She has served as a grants officer for the Harry J. Lloyd Charitable Trust and provided grants expertise for numerous nonprofits including The Salvation Army and OneHope.

In her new role as Vice President of Grant Writing and Research, Brenda will leverage her extensive foundation and grant experience for Hartsook clients.

Hartsook Announces Its New President
April 10, 2019

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Hartsook is pleased to announce the promotion of Karin Cox to the position of President. Karin has served as Senior Executive Vice President since 2008. “Karin’s well-deserved and timely promotion to President and Co-Founder recognizes her vital role in Hartsook’s creation, its present and its future,” said Hartsook Chairman and CEO Dr. Matthew J. Beem. “Because she is based in North Carolina, Karin is particularly accessible to our East Coast clients, in addition to her clients located around the country.” Karin Cox and Bob Hartsook opened Hartsook’s doors in 1987. Since then, the organization has been active in helping nonprofits harness the power of philanthropy.

Karin has served in senior leadership roles in nonprofit and business sectors, and is an author, frequent presenter and senior consultant. As Hartsook’s President and Co-Founder, she will continue to provide exceptional counsel to her clients, but also will lead Hartsook’s business development activities and growth as she simultaneously sustains the firm’s proven, reliable processes and introduces new, impactful strategies.

Hartsook Hosts Institute for Sustainable Philanthropy Board Meeting
May 15, 2019

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Hartsook was pleased to host the newly-formed Institute for Sustainable Philanthropy first physical board meeting last month at Hartsook’s headquarters in Kansas City.

The Institute for Sustainable Philanthropy (Plymouth, U.K.) is the new global home for fundraising research grounded in the science of philanthropic psychology. The Institute is dedicated to improving the fundraising practice and the philanthropic experience. Its mission is to generate social science evidence to help nonprofits, fundraisers and the donors they serve to grow love in each donation.

Hartsook was proud to create and sponsor the Hartsook Centre for Sustainable Philanthropy at Plymouth University. Now, the firm is honored to be associated with the Centre’s successor, the Institute for Sustainable Philanthropy in Plymouth, U.K.

Hartsook Chairman and CEO Matthew J. Beem is the Institute’s first board chair. “This alliance is an expression of Hartsook’s ongoing commitment to improving fundraiser education toward our long-term objective of unleashing the Power of Philanthropy in donors, volunteers and fundraisers.”

Dr. Adrian Sargeant, Joint Director of the new Institute, added, “I’m delighted to continue the association with Matt and the whole Hartsook team. Matt’s and Hartsook’s commitment to using science to develop a deeper and richer understanding of donor behavior is making a huge difference in the experiences of fundraising and philanthropy around the globe.”

Hartsook Showcases Its Tenured Team and Recent Promotions
May 9, 2019

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Hartsook is an employee-owned company headquartered in Kansas City. The firm has provided fundraising counsel for nonprofit organizations in all 50 states, Canada, 30 European nations, Australia and countries in Central and South America. Most of Hartsook’s team members have been with the company for more than a decade – some exceeding 20 years. Their commitment and loyalty to Hartsook, which enhances clients’ experiences in immeasurable ways, is a quality those we serve have come to rely on and value.

Through the longevity of its team members, Hartsook is uniquely positioned to help clients unleash the Power of Philanthropy™ in their organizations and for the individuals and families they serve.

Leadership Team

Danny Kohrs, Chief Operating Officer

Danny has been with Hartsook for 12 years. Previously, he was Vice President of Operations. He leads the entire network of Hartsook operations as well as the allocations of people and resources. Danny has responsibility for the day-to-day activities of finance and accounting, ESOP, new business and client development, communications and administrative services. In addition to a diverse background in business administration, operations, human resources and accounting, Danny has more than ten years of hands-on experience as a top fundraiser.  With this understanding of philanthropy, he is a valued resource for the entire consulting team and inherently committed to client success. Danny holds a Bachelor of Science in Human Resources Management degree from Friends University in Wichita and professional certification from the University of Missouri-Kansas City.

 

Janell Johnson, MPA, Executive Vice President

Janell has been with Hartsook for 10 years. Previously, she was Senior Vice President. She is well versed in capital campaign organization and execution; major gift identification; event planning; cultivation and solicitation strategies; annual fund development; planned gift acquisition; and strategic planning. She also has considerable experience in board development, strategic planning and staff management and routinely exceeds her clients’ expectations and breaks fundraising records. She holds a Bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education from Michigan State University and a Master’s of Public Administration and Certification of Nonprofit Leadership Administration from Western Michigan University.

 

Ross Pfannenstiel, Executive Vice President

Ross has been with Hartsook for five years. Previously, he was Senior Vice President. He has a strong track record of development leadership and nonprofit management. Ross worked for the Heart of America Council, Boy Scouts of America for 14 years. During his tenure with Heart of America, Ross successfully worked in all levels of field service and supervised a staff of over 30 employees covering a 19-county metropolitan area. Ross has raised millions of dollars for the Heart of America Council and his Hartsook clients during his non-profit management and development career. He holds a Bachelor’s of Science degree in Business Administration/Finance and Economics from Rockhurst University where he received the Finucane Service Scholarship for community service, the Ignatian Award for academic achievement and graduated with honors.

 

Consultants and Staff

 

Layton (Bud) Cooper, DMin, Senior Executive Vice President

Bud has been with Hartsook for 20 years. Previously, he was Executive Vice President. He has assisted a variety of organizations in their fundraising efforts. Prior to joining Hartsook, he was the Executive Director of Development for the Salvation Army of Kansas and Western Missouri. He was 2005 Outstanding Fundraising Professional by AFP Mid-America Chapter and was named the 2013 Cardinal Citation Award recipient by Labette Community College and the LCC Alumni Association – the highest honor bestowed to an individual for significant lifetime achievement. He holds a Doctorate from the Protestant Episcopal Theological Seminary, a Master of Divinity from Saint Paul School of Theology, a liberal arts degree from Labette Community College and a Bachelor’s degree from Pittsburg State University.

 

Norma Murphy, Senior Executive Vice President

Norma has been with Hartsook for 27 years. Previously, she was Executive Vice President. She leads Hartsook’s grant development services. Before joining Hartsook, she was Vice President of Development for the Cerebral Palsy Research Foundation of Kansas. She also was Development Director for Rainbows United of Wichita, a preschool for children with disabilities, where she completed the organization’s first capital campaign six months ahead of schedule and 10 percent over goal. Norma serves on a national committee for the American Association of Grant Professionals, and is a member of the Association of Fundraising Professionals, where she was named the 2004 Outstanding Fundraising Professional of the Year. She holds a Bachelor’s degree and will soon complete a Master’s degree in mass communication where she will graduate on the President’s Honor Roll – both degrees are from Wichita State University.

 

Denise Rhoades, Vice President of Communications

Denise has been with Hartsook for 20 years. Previously, she was Communications Director. She is Hartsook’s professional writer and develops case statements and campaign success stories for Hartsook clients from virtually every nonprofit sector in the United States and overseas. Utilizing a powerful combination of intuition and accuracy, Denise is adept at creating a concise and compelling case for support tailored to each client. She is also a co-author of the book Bootstraps and Benefits which highlights how nonprofits can best address issues of poverty. Denise has a Bachelor’s degree in English from Stetson University.

 

Tammy Weinman, Vice President of Support Services

Tammy has been with Hartsook for 15 years. Previously she was Director of Support Services. In addition to supporting Hartsook’s Chairman and CEO Matthew Beem, she is the first point of contact for clients, prospects and consultants. She facilitates the complete study process and provides personalized assistance to clients every step of the way. Her commitment to client service creates a culture of excellence for everyone involved.

Tammy has an Associates in Arts from Butler Community College. She is a graduate of Wichita State University with a Bachelor of Business Administration, Business Management and a minor in Entrepreneurship.

 

Team Members with Ten-Plus Years of Serving Hartsook Clients

Our team members’ longevity provides a value-added benefit for our clients. They trust they can always count on us to be here when they need us, extending the same quality service, year after year.

Murray Blackwelder, MPA, Senior Executive Vice President, 32 years

Matthew Beem, PhD, CFRE, Chairman and CEO, 18 years

Karin Cox, MFA, President and Co-Founder, 14 years

Lori Cox, Graphic Designer, 18 years

Laura Rhoades, Graphic Designer, 11 years

Hartsook Appoints New Members to Its Corporate Board of Directors
May 1, 2019

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Hartsook is pleased to announce the appointment of Terrance (Terry) P. Dunn and Robert (Bob) D. Regnier to its corporate board of directors. “I am proud to welcome Terry and Bob to Hartsook’s board,” said Hartsook Board Chairman and CEO Matt Beem. “They are exceptional leaders who bring extraordinary corporate and philanthropic experience and expertise. Their guidance and counsel is highly sought after, and I am honored to have them alongside me as Hartsook charts its trajectory of growth.” Hartsook, an employee-owned company, is headquartered in Kansas City. The firm has served clients in all 50 states, Canada, 30 European nations, Australia and countries in Central and South America. With a team of nearly 100 consultants, support services team members and allied professionals, Hartsook is among the world’s largest fundraising consulting practices, helping thousands of nonprofits, of every size and sector, raise billions of dollars worldwide.

 

Terrence P. Dunn

Retired, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, JE Dunn Construction

Founder, DD Ranch Leawood

Terry retired as CEO of JE Dunn Construction in 2013, and retired from his chairman’s duties at the end of 2014. J.E. Dunn, a national construction firm founded in 1924 with 2018 revenues of more than $3 billion, became an ESOP-owned company, after three generations of family ownership and leadership. Following his tenure at JE Dunn, Terry founded DD Ranch Leawood – a business home for senior executives who have retired from major companies and are staying actively engaged as investors, directors and entrepreneurs in corporate, civic and charitable initiatives.

Terry served as the Chairman of the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City, Chairman of the Greater Kansas City Chamber of Commerce, Chairman of the Builder’s Association Education Committee, President of the American Cancer Society Central Kansas City Unit, Board Chair of Rockhurst University, Board Chair of KCU and Vice Chairman of the Economic Development Corporation. Over the years, he has been active in many civic and community organizations such as the Boy Scouts of America National Executive Committee, Civic Council of Greater Kansas City, Kansas City Southern, Kansas City University of Medicine and Biosciences, Midwest Research Institute, UMKC Bloch School and UMB Financial.

 

Robert D. Regnier

Chairman, President and CEO

Bank of Blue Valley

Bob founded Bank of Blue Valley in 1989. Bank of Blue Valley is a locally-owned and operated community bank with five locations throughout Johnson County. Over the last 29 years, the Bank has grown to over $725 million in total assets. In 2019, Bank of Blue Valley  announced its $94 million sale to Morrill & Janes Bank and Trust’s parent, Heartland Financial, which will operate the merged bank under the Bank of Blue Valley flag and retain Bob as CEO.

Bob is a former Chairman of the Greater Kansas City Chamber of Commerce and is currently active as a member or on the board of directors of the Civic Council of Greater Kansas City, Union Station Kansas City, Konsa Valley Capital, Inc., Johnson County Community College Foundation and the University of Missouri Kansas City Foundation. He has received numerous honors including Philanthropist of the Year, Johnson Countian of the Year, Kansas Citian of the Year, Volunteer of the Year, UMKC Alumni award, NAACP MLK Legacy Award, Ernst & Young Financial Entrepreneur of the Year, Thinking Bigger Business Entrepreneurial Legacy Award and the Henry Bloch Human Relations Award.

Hartsook Announces the Retirement of Its Founder and Appointment of Matthew J. Beem as Chairman and CEO
March 27, 2019

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After more than 30 years as its founder, leader and bold visionary, Hartsook announces the retirement of Dr. Robert (Bob) F. Hartsook. Effective March 1, 2019, Bob assumed his new role as Hartsook’s Founder and Chairman Emeritus.

Bob Hartsook has been a fundraising maverick for half a century. He remains one of the most influential leaders for growing philanthropy. His tenacity, nonconformity and ability to see possibilities everywhere – even where others cannot – led him to launch Hartsook.

Bob announced, “On April 1, 2019, we will celebrate the 32nd anniversary of the founding of Hartsook Companies, Inc. When we began, I had no idea what would develop for this company, but, quite honestly, while there have been detours, delays and alternatives, the objective of being a major fundraising management consulting practice and a force in fundraising-thinking, through education and research, was always the plan. As I complete my 70th birthday, it seems to be the perfect time to ‘pass the baton.’ I am proud of my successor, Matt Beem, and excited about the future he will bring to the company. He is fortunate to have at his side, Karin Cox, Hartsook Co-founder. In addition, the many talented individuals who make Hartsook successful are ready to step up.”

A Career of Distinction

Bob’s career began with distinction, gained momentum and never waned. At the age of 21, while working at Colby Community College in Kansas, Bob was the nation’s youngest Chief Operating Officer of a higher education institution. While working at Wichita State University in the 80s, Bob advanced his reputation by completing one of only 30 of the first $100-million university campaigns. Over the years, he has invested more than $30 million to support advanced fundraising education and created multiple forums for applied fundraising research.

Bob has authored numerous fundraising books including Reality Fundraising; Closing that Gift; How to Get Million Dollar Gifts and Have Donors Thank You; Getting Your Ducks in a Row; Nobody Wants to Give Money Away; On the Money; and $231 Billion Raised and Counting. He is also the author of the “Major Gifts” chapter in the first pedagogically-sound text for master’s degree education, Fundraising Principles and Practice, first and second edition.

Awards and recognition he has received include the Indiana University’s Spirit of Philanthropy Award, 2004; Key to the Lilly Family School of Philanthropy, 2014; Emporia State University, Alum of the Year, 2003; Avila University, Philanthropist of the Year Medal, 2012; Emporia High School Life Achievement Hall of Fame, 2013; Sigma Phi Epsilon Citation, 2017; Washburn Law School Lifetime Achievement Award, 2017;  and an honorary doctorate of business administration from Plymouth University, United Kingdom where Bob was introduced as having accomplished “… more to improve the donor experience of philanthropy than any other living individual.”

Matthew J. Beem Accepts His New Role as Hartsook Chairman and CEO

With Bob Hartsook’s retirement, Matthew J. Beem – who has been part of the Hartsook team since 2001 and served as the firm’s President and CEO since 2011 – was named Chairman and CEO of Hartsook Companies, Inc. and Chairman of Hartsook’s ESOP Trust.

Matt shared, “It has been a privilege to work with Bob. He is and will remain a legend in the field and has taught a great deal to me and many, many others. It is my honor to lead Hartsook into the future.”

Matt chairs the advisory board of the Hartsook Centre for Sustainable Philanthropy at Plymouth University in Plymouth, United Kingdom and is a senior fellow of the University of Missouri-Kansas City’s (UMKC) Midwest Center for Nonprofit Leadership. He is a featured speaker on fundraising and fundraiser compensation in the United States and abroad and is author of Performance-Driven Fundraising: Taking Control of Your Success.

Matt holds a bachelor of journalism in news editorial from the Missouri School of Journalism at the University of Missouri-Columbia and a master of public administration in nonprofit management and doctor of philosophy in organizational behavior and higher education administration from UMKC’s Bloch School of Management and School of Education.

“I am proud of Hartsook’s leadership transition,” said Hartsook. “I hired Matt as an Executive Vice President in 2001, named him President in 2004, appointed him COO in 2009 and elevated him to CEO in 2011. I look forward to the firm’s future with his appointment as Chairman.”

Hartsook, an employee-owned company, is headquartered in Kansas City. The firm has served clients in all 50 states, Canada, 30 European nations, Australia and countries in Central and South America. With a team of nearly 100 consultants, support services team members and allied professionals, Hartsook is the world’s largest fundraising consulting practice, helping thousands of nonprofits, of every size and sector, raise billions of dollars worldwide.

Matthew J. Beem Honored With BSA District Award of Merit
March 4, 2019

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Matthew J. Beem received the District Award of Merit from Blue Elk District, Heart of America Council – the highest district honor awarded a Scouting volunteer. Matt is an Eagle Scout, a member of the Tribe of Mic-O-Say, and an active volunteer with Boy Scouts of America.

He has served as Chair for the Heart of America Council’s Blue Elk District and in many other council, district and unit leadership roles.

Pictured: Matthew J. Beem, PhD receiving the District Award of Merit with his wife, Kate.

Matthew J. Beem Earns PhD
February 20, 2019

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Matthew J. Beem earned a doctor of philosophy in organizational behavior and higher education administration from the University of Missouri – Kansas City. He defended his dissertation, Performance-Based Fundraiser Compensation: An Analysis of Preference, Prevalence and Effect, in December 2018.

Beem examined the preference for and prevalence of performance-based compensation and the relationship between it and productivity within the sample population of professional fundraisers. He reviewed the history of fundraiser compensation and prevalence of incentive pay in the nonprofit sector and among professional fundraisers, including its correlation to performance.

The Fundraiser Compensation Survey, an original study, was emailed by the Mid-America Chapter of Fundraising Professionals to more than 3,000 individuals. Findings revealed respondents’ dissatisfaction with the relationship between goal attainment, performance and compensation in their jobs. The study also found significant compensation differences based on respondents’ gender and ethnicity – findings different from research discussed in the literature review.

Beem’s dissertation adds important knowledge about the prevalence of and desire for performance-based compensation within the sample population. It also sheds light on the effect performance-based compensation has on the amount of money fundraisers raise. Hartsook continues to be available to support nonprofit organizations in compensation plan design for its fundraisers, executive directors, CEOs and other senior

Pictured: Dr. David Renz, Director, Midwest Center for Nonprofit Leadership; Doctoral Advisor to Matthew J. Beem, PhD