This has been a tremendous year of learning, growth and preparation. I am convinced at the age of 53 that the next decade of my work in philanthropy is going to be most impactful of my life. I often told my sons as they were growing up and facing some specific challenge that God was preparing them for something BIG. Well, I guess I know in my heart that the next BIG thing is yet to come in my life. He has truly used this year to prepare me for the something special.
I have sat down this year, face to face and personally interviewed 117 major donors. People with hearts that are so unique. People whose careers and businesses are not about amassing wealth. People who believe their purpose for living is giving. They have dedicated homes, careers and businesses to alleviate suffering, helping the homeless, feeding the hungry and providing clean, cool water to those who thirst.
These wonderful people opened their hearts to me. These supporters have cried. They have shared their hearts. They have asked for my advise on how to best give of their time, talent and treasure. However, the most important thing to me was what they said when I asked for their advise. As a major giving advisor, what could I do better… what could the organization do better? Time and time again it came down to two things, two critically important words. Two verbs of action… that required me to get better and to improve. Those two words were: LISTEN & IMPACT.