Ode to Kim Klein

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Those who read my Editor’s Notes are used to my periodic odes to Kim Klein, social justice activist and fundraiser extraordinaire. She is a woman of a million useful tips—don’t choose salad or spaghetti when eating with a donor (too risky); please understand that just because a donor in the South is asking you to stay longer, she doesn’t necessarily mean it—and then she backs that up with structure, and details of planning, and suggestions for changing your own attitudes, and more and more.

The fact is, Kim knows that asking for money is an acquired skill for many of us. She knows we need patient and practical guidance, and she provides it with a lot of humor and general kindness. In my thirties, I watched her tapes incessantly, and it is her voice I still hear in my head when selecting from a menu in a donor’s favorite restaurant/club/watering hole, or telling someone that $25,000 was not what I was hoping (gulp!) for.

And, thank goodness, she is someone who is never done with anything, so we have a chance to provide you with her latest and greatest improved thinking—as we do today in the first part of “Starting a Major Gifts Program.”

Have fun with it, and if you get a chance, we’d love to hear your favorite personal story about an interaction with a major donor.

  • protestfolk

    What perhaps should be mentioned is that, according to its 2014 Form 990 financial filing, the “non-profit” Better Angels Society filmmaker funding organization (that Ken Burns and this “fundraiser extraordinaire” are connected to) apparently had ” total revenues” of $12,193,000 that exceeded its “total expenses” of only $$1,104,000 by over $11,000,000 in 2014, yet was apparently exempted from paying a fair share of federal and state income taxes. (see following link for financial info) http://www.guidestar.org/ViewPdf.aspx?PdfSource=0&ein=45-4587107