Hartsook Announces the Retirement of Its Founder, Bob Hartsook, and
Appointment of His Successor, Matt Beem

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.”

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

With Bob Hartsook’s retirement, Matt 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.

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