Stratagems mast
May 2018 
is published monthly by Jim Eskin, External Affairs Counsel, who has more than 30 years of leadership experience in institutional advancement, fundraising, public affairs, and communications. His consulting practice helps people and organizations with philanthropy, advocacy, and image so they can more effectively touch lives and improve the world. He welcomes the opportunity to hear about your funding and institutional advancement needs as a first step in designing a strategy and effective plan toward building a stronger future.
 Contact Jim Eskin at:
10410 Pelican Oak Drive
San Antonio, TX 78254-6727
210-523-8499 (H)
210-415-3748 (C)

Answers: 1=a, 2=e, 3=b, 4=c, 5=d
I'm beginning a new
chapter in my career as an independent non-profit consultant. The focus will be on supporting the success of  professional and volunteer fundraisers who fuel great causes and who want to get better at developing resources so they can touch and improve even more lives. I have to admit that leaving the traditional workplace to go out on my own is both exciting and scary at the same time. This much I know for sure: This is something I've been preparing for all my life. 

Here's a peek at the services I'll be offering:
* Training non-profit board members, volunteers and staff in the art and science of fundraising and overcoming the fear of asking for a gift.
* Following up on prospects identified by board members and volunteers.
* Crafting donor communications.
* Prepping and coaching board members and staff on making the most from ask opportunities.

Through my training, I hope to demystify the art and science of fundraising and help take the fear out of asking. My favorite theme is Fundraising=Common Sense, and I know that anyone can gain comfort and confidence in the processes and practices of fundraising.  

I'm excited about the opportunities that lie ahead, and eager to share what I've learned from many years in the field. Please keep your ideas, leads and suggestions coming. They're particularly valuable during these early stages.
By the way, my website to introduce the featured services is now in development and should launch soon.
 Over the Airwaves
I'm excited to announce a partnership with KROV 91.7 FM to launch a
new weekly half-hour philanthropy radio program, Time. Talent. Treasure. It will air Thursdays, noon to 12:30 pm. I'll visit with leading philanthropists, non-profit CEOs, board members and passionate volunteers to share their stories and learn about their motivations to improve the lot of others. Interview segments will be interspersed with music. I'm the producer and co-host. The show begins May 10th, and my first guest will be Harvey Najim, who has enriched the San Antonio community with gifts totaling $100 million from his personal and foundation resources. KROV is San Antonio's only R&B station and is robustly committed to public service. Most people listen on their smart phones and mobile devices. Please be sure to tune in. We'll have a good time and bond with heroes of good works. 
The Philanthropist's Perspective
One of the perks of working in the development profession is the privilege to see close
up the remarkable men and women who are profoundly generous in the sharing gifts of time talent and treasure. Surprisingly, they often  don't seem to think their gifts are a big deal.  A shining example is Neil Griffin, a 91-year-old Kerrville, Texas business leader, who gave $2.5 million in 2017 to the Alamo Colleges Foundation. This gift is for endowed scholarships, capital improvements, and an endowed excellence fund providing use-where-needed most flexibility, and represents the largest single gift I've worked to receive on behalf of an institution. Recently, Mr. Griffin also made his largest single gift ever, $10 million to his alma mater, Arkansas State University. This will endow a range of scholarships, professorships and enhancement funds for the operations of the college.
 In recognition of this gift, the largest in the institution's history, the Arkansas State University College of Business was named for him.

Griffin has carefully looked back at the events, individuals and institutions that helped shape and change his life, and came to a clear conclusion: Education is the one thing that contributed most to his success in life, whether it was wisdom gained in a classroom or transferred in contact with individuals. Accordingly, his philanthropy in life and in his estate plan (that provides for even larger gifts) is primarily focused on education. 

His faith has also profoundly influenced his giving, buttressed by the conviction to share with those less fortunate. Higher education is a powerful and proven vehicle for empowering today's and future generations to move forward in life, just like it did for him. He points out that Arkansas State University is comprised of more than 40% of students who are the first in their family to go to college.

Griffin's decision-making emphasizes a prudent evaluation of the capability to carry out the intent of requested funds. For instance, Arkansas State University has been in existence since 1909 and has consistently demonstrated the ability to serve their primary market area -- they've grown from approximately 1,300 students when he graduated in 1948 to more than 22,000 in the system today. Through his gifts, he wants to motivate affluent alumni to give what they can.
$9 Trillion Wealth Transfer
If only 5% of the assets projected to pass from Americans' estates over the next decade were
Baby boomers
captured for philanthropy, it could create the equivalent of 10 Gates Foundations, according to a new analysis of household wealth data. The $9 trillion that will pass down to the next generation by 2027 suggests that now is the time for charities to gear up their efforts to secure bequests. Five percent of that inheritance donated to charity could add up to $441 billion and generate $22 billion in grant making annually. The eye-popping figures were unveiled recently by Locus Impact Investing, in partnership with the Center for Rural Entrepreneurship. If 5 percent of that money were captured for philanthropy, nearly $5 trillion could wind up in charities' coffers. If that much is earmarked for charity, grant making over that period could total $243 billion. It adds up to unprecedented potential for bequests and other planned gifts, especially over the next three decades. More than half of current American household wealth -- 56% -- is in the hands of Baby Boomers, the oldest of whom are turning 72 this year. If Generation X and Millennials outpace their elders as wealth creators, this may be a sustained trend of ever-increasing opportunity, according to the study's authors.
4th Quarter Surge
According to the recent 2018 Fundraising Effectiveness Quarterly Report, covering the fourth
Trending up
quarter 2017, overall donations to non-profits in the U.S. increased 4% in 2017 over 2016.  This reverses a year-long decline of -4% through the end of the third quarter of 2017, with substantial increases in giving at all donation levels to end the year. Giving from donors $1,000 or more in the fourth quarter of 2017 also increased a record breaking 47% over the previous fourth quarter in 2016.  While there is a correlation between the increase and the recent tax changes and run up of the stock market in the same period, more research will be necessary to understand exactly why giving increased so suddenly near the end of the year. Annual donor retention also increased to 46%, which means that nearly half of all donors who gave in 2016 also gave in 2017 to the same nonprofit organization. This figure is an improvement from the annual donor retention rate of 41% reported in 2009.
This quarterly report encompasses 9,179 non-profit organizations across the U.S. with 7.7 million donors and more than $7.6 billion dollars in contributions.  Representing a diverse and representational sample of the overall $390 billion in giving in the U.S., the Growth in Giving database is the world's largest database of actual nonprofit donation history available for public and private research.
The First Lady
Democrats and Republicans alike mourned the passing of Barbara Pierce Bush -- a beloved first lady renowned for her authenticity, proud mother of six children, accomplished author, and passionate champion for literacy. Mrs. Bush believed that every man, woman and child should have the opportunity to secure a better life through literacy. In 1989, this belief inspired her to establish the Barbara Bush Foundation for Family Literacy, which has provided educational opportunities for Americans of all ages, in all 50 states, Over the past 29 years, the Foundation has raised and provided more than $110 million in support to create or expand family literacy programs in all 50 states and the District of Columbia.
Through the Barbara Bush Foundation Adult Literacy XPRIZE initiative, the Foundation is now the single largest provider of literacy services to adults in the U.S. who read below a third grade level. The competition's field testing phase, currently underway in Dallas, Los Angles, and Philadelphia, is providing nearly 11,000 learners with free access to mobile learning apps with the power to significantly improve their literacy skills in just one year. Over the next two years, this program will be launched nationally to serve hundreds of thousands of students.
Auction for the Ages
The incredible life of David Rockefeller -- the last surviving grandson of Standard Oil billionaire John D. Rockefeller -- is about to give rise to the sale of the century. In May, Christie's will auction off the collection of David and Peggy Rockefeller, a vast treasure trove of more than 2,000 objects that's estimated to sell for more than $500 million. Many art experts expect the total could approach $1 billion.
Either way, it will be the largest auction of a single collection in history, far surpassing the collection of Yves Saint Laurent in 2009, which hit $485 million and holds the record. It will be the ultimate billionaire's yard sale, with famous works by Picasso, Monet and Matisse, as well as prized Asian Buddhas, Latin American art, African masks, English furniture and diamond jewelry. Their massive collection of fine china -- among the largest ever offered -- includes Napoleon's favorite dessert service set, which the emperor loved so much he took it with him into exile on Elba. All of the proceeds from the sale will go to charity. David Rockefeller, the ultimate American Brahmin, served as the longtime chairman and CEO of Chase Manhattan Bank and was a confidant of presidents, prime ministers and royals alike. He was a voracious and expert collector. He and his late wife, Peggy, traveled the world starting in the 1940s in search of the finest paintings, sculptures, fine china and collectibles that he could find.
Learning from Masters
Tim Nelson's career got off to a fast start with senior leadership roles at companies such as Litton, RCA, General Electric, Bayer Miles, IBM, and as an officer of the Fiserv Corporation. He also launched an innovative company -
- Brown Bag Training -- that served the high-tech industry.  Then, he became a fundraiser and worked at universities (including being part of a $1 billion campaign), community colleges, and a national museum. In 2017, he launched Nelson Fundraising Advisors, based in Lexington, South Carolina, where he blends seasoned leadership, business skills, and development savvy to help clients move to the next level. Commenting on changes in his development career, he recognizes that organizational leaders are learning how to embrace and apply technological advancements in giving.  But the biggest gifts are still achieved via face-to-face interaction and likely will remain so in our lifetime. Personal interactions are paramount to fundraising success. His advice to those considering entering or seeking to advance in the development profession? He's a big supporter of experienced and successful for-profit business professionals making second and third careers in fundraising. "They understand money, are wonderful communicators, and know how to move a relationship forward." Many seasoned professionals see it as a calling at later stages in their careers.  Tim has found the majority of big donors are often successful in business, and gift officers who are former successful business people understand how to relate to those donors and that serves the gift officer well. 
About six in 10 Americans say it is very or somewhat likely that today's young people will have
a better life than their parents did. The latest reading marks continued improvement since the low of 44% in 2011 but is still not back to the level of 66% measured in February 2008.
The latest results are based on a recent Gallup poll. Since 2008, Gallup has been gauging Americans' optimism about the next generation's likelihood of surpassing their parents' living standard. Before that, the same question was asked by The New York Times and CBS News between 1995 and 2003. The highest reading for the question in that series was recorded in July 1999 and December 2001, when 71% of Americans said it was likely young people would live better than their parents. Optimism fell during the 2007-2009 recession and ensuing periods of high unemployment, hitting a low in 2011. As the unemployment rate began to improve in 2012, so too has the public's optimism about future generations' economic opportunities. Bottom line: Americans are generally feeling optimistic about the direction of the economy, and recent Gallup polling suggests that people still think the American dream is alive and well. Just as a healthy majority of Americans now think it is possible to get ahead through hard work, so too, do they believe it is likely that today's young people will have a better life than their parents did.
I enjoy meeting people who see a void in the world and, through the sheer force of their will, try to fill that void. A recent example is Barbara Goldman, who helped found TEAMability in 2003 and has served as its only Executive Director. Under Barbara's vibrant leadership, TEAMability has emerged as the go-to organization for services for children with severe, combined disabilities in the San Antonio area. At TEAMability she proudly proclaims that "we challenge the assumptions." Children are defined by their abilities, by who they are and what they can do and like to do. That's why Barbara points to an abundance of joy among staff, parents and children. This success story is the culmination of a lifetime commitment to pioneering improved programs for children with severe multiple disabilities. Barbara taught in Syracuse City Schools, authored a handbook for teachers of the blind, and expanded opportunities for high school students with disabilities through initiation of an inclusive swim program. She was a teacher of children with developmental disabilities in Baltimore, Maryland before moving to Italy in the role of army wife. Barbara returned to teaching when her family moved to San Antonio. 
True Grit
One of my hardest working and most effective colleagues is Laura Leach,
Regional Manager with Mission Advancement Professionals, who helps clients with capital and development counsel projects. She considers it a dream job. Laura has been a professional fundraiser since 2002 when she answered an ad for a marketing and communications specialist with a fabulous non-profit in Nashville. For 15 years she's enjoyed working alongside standing Executive Directors and noon-profit teams. Like others in our profession, she knows that successful fundraisers need to do whatever it takes. This is her story of persistence.  While serving as CDO for Children's Association for Maximum Potential, she began and successfully completed a capital campaign. They were laser-focused on completing the goal when they met the criteria to begin a funding conversation with the pinnacle of a successful campaign, the JE and LE Mabee Foundation in Tulsa, Oklahoma. CAMP did their research, and knew they were a perfect fit. After conversations between the respective Executive Directors, they decided that they had to give it their all and make the request in person. The day before the biggest day ever in the campaign, Laura participated in a friendly relay race during an all-staff outing and every competitive bone in her soul was not going to be defeated by Millennials. She was defeated by Millennials and her loser trophy was a punishing leg injury that required crutches. She was advised to sit it out, and let the rest of the team traveling to Tulsa handle the meeting. Laura thought "no way" and she was going, period. Within 18 hours she learned to walk with crutches and was at the airport. There are no direct flights between San Antonio and Tulsa, and it meant catching four flights during a very long day. She was hobbled and hurt, but somehow kept it together. The coveted ask was made, and her grit was rewarded with a gift of $750,000.
Parental Influence   
A new report from the Women's Philanthropy Institute explores how parents transmit generosity
to their children, and whether this differs for sons and daughters. The study finds that while all adult children whose parents give to charity are more likely to give, this relationship is stronger for daughters than it is for sons. 
Key findings:
* Adult children -- both sons and daughters -- whose parents give to charity are more likely to give to charity.
* The relationship between parents' and adult daughters' giving is stronger than the relationship between parents' and adult sons' giving.
* The frequency of parents' giving has greater influence on adult daughters' likelihood of giving than it does on adult sons' likelihood of giving.
On the Bookshelf  
In Chocolate We Trust takes readers inside modern-day Hershey, Pennsylvania, headquarters of the iconic Hershey brand. A destination for chocolate enthusiasts since the early 1900s, Hershey has transformed from a model industrial town into a multifaceted suburbia powered by philanthropy. At its heart lies the Milton Hershey School Trust, a charitable trust with a mandate to serve "social orphans" and a $12 billion endowment amassed from Hershey Company profits. The trust is a longstanding source of pride for people who call Hershey home and revere its benevolent capitalist founder-but in recent years it has become a subject of controversy and intrigue. Using interviews, participant observation, and archival research, anthropologist Peter Kurie returns to his hometown to examine the legacy of the Hershey Trust among local residents, company employees, and alumni of the K-12 Milton Hershey School. He arrives just as a scandal erupts that raises questions about the outsized power of the private trust over public life. Kurie draws on diverse voices across the community to show how philanthropy stirs passions and interests well beyond intended beneficiaries. In Chocolate We Trust reveals the cultural significance of Hershey as a forerunner to socially conscious corporations and the cult of the entrepreneur-philanthropist. The Hershey story encapsulates the dreams and wishes of today's consumer-citizens: the dream of becoming personally successful, and the wish that the most affluent among us will serve the common good.
Farewell Alamo Colleges
I just completed nine wonderful years as Executive Director of Alamo Colleges Foundation. It was the most rewarding and fulfilling experience of my career (shown in photo along with Andrea and me are Dr. Yvonne Katz, Chair, Board of Trustees and Dr. Bruce Leslie, Chancellor). Following positions as Director of Advancement at the UTSA College of Business and Vice President of Institutional Advancement at Our Lady of the Lake University, I've been blessed to do good works with lots of good people.
Working with donors from all walks of life and differing socio-economic backgrounds who choose to share their precious gifts of time and treasure is enormously uplifting. I'm very proud of what we accomplished at Alamo Colleges Foundation between 2009-2018:
* We increased Foundation assets from $12 million to $26 million.  
* We grew the endowment from $10 million to $17 million.  
* We raised the employee giving participation rate from 13% to 50%.
* We increased the number of scholarship recipients from 575 to 2,175.
* And we increased scholarship dollars awarded to students from $520,000 to $2.1 million.
Working in the non-profit sector is intoxicating -- intoxicating in a good way. And I'm purposely remaining in the non-profit sector as a consultant to enhance individual and organizational efforts to improve the world.
Quiz: Best Baseball Starts
The Boston Red Sox are off to a terrific start, 17-4 through their first 21 games, by far the best record in Major League Baseball. How well do you know the other hot starts in baseball history? Match the following teams with their respective records to answer this question.  Answers are shown in the green box at the bottom of the left column. Until next month ...

1. 1982 Atlanta Braves           a. 12-1
2. 1966 Baltimore Orioles       b.  13-0
3. 1984 Detroit Tigers             c.   20-4
4. 1986 New York Mets          d.   29-7  
5. 1939 New York Yankees    e.   35-5