In honor of Betsy Nelson’s extraordinary tenure as President of the Association of Baltimore Area Grantmakers, the ABAG Board of Directors has announced the establishment of the Betsy Nelson Legacy Fund to support the organization’s efforts to promote charitable giving and involvement in addressing community issues and challenges.
The Fund aims to share philanthropy’s message beyond the ABAG membership and to build connections between charitably-minded people, organizations, and institutions to strengthen our community.
Last week I braved the Beltway traffic and headed up to Baltimore for the Association of Baltimore Area Grantmakers Annual Meeting. Leslie Crutchfield of FSG Advisors gave a great keynote about catalytic philanthropy. My favorite part was on defining collective impact.
10 Questions or Less is a feature here on the Forum’s Forum in which we get to know regional association staff members a little better—their work, what drives them, and more. This week, Adam Donaldson, Member Services Director at Association of Baltimore Area Grantmakers. If you would like to suggest someone for a profile through 10 Questions or Less, contact Dan Brady.
You have a Masters in Public Policy and have played an active role in Foundations on the Hill. As we head into 2012, an election year, what issues should be at the forefront in regional associations staff’s minds?
All politics is local, which in this context is my way of saying regional association staff always have members at the forefront of their minds! So the questions are what are your members concerned about and what are you doing to engage and to listen to them? Have you established policies with your Board and members that allow you to advocate or lobby when opportunity or need knocks? In the Baltimore area, our members are anxious about government budget cuts and reduced private giving to nonprofits as a result of the economy. We are monitoring carefully the national conversation on charitable deductions and other efforts to gain government revenue from nonprofits and foundations.
You recently shared ABAG’s member renewal “thank you” letter on the Member Marketing listserve. ABAG seems to have a great relationship with its members, partially because of special touches like this. As the Member Services Director who also has a lot of other duties on his plate, how do make sure you get these important details right?
If I do get things right, it is precisely because I turn to the Forum network for best practices and rely on feedback from ABAG staff and long-time members (I believe in group writing). To focus my attention I rely on writing a fairly detailed annual plan and then pour my brain into my outlook calendar (my ring tone is “If I only had a brain”). Everything from reaching out to an unengaged member to taking my toddler to gymnastics happens because my iPhone buzzes. Send me a meeting maker anytime. Continue reading
At last week’s Association of Baltimore Area Grantmakers Annual Meeting, keynote speaker Mark Sedway, Director of The Philanthropy Awareness Initiative, encouraged ABAG’s members to “go outside,” beyond their usual spheres of influences and peer networks to tell their stories about the impact of philanthropy.
Below is a video from Sedway’s presentation. View the whole thing on our YouTube Channel.