Jeff shares his unique journey into the world of fundraising, which began with a background in crisis counseling and IT. His experience highlights the importance of active listening and connecting with people's passions in the fundraising process.
Harris Stowe State University has a diverse donor portfolio, stemming from its rich history as an institution. Jeff discusses the university's transition to an HBCU (Historically Black College or University) in 1987 and the varied backgrounds of their donors.
The discussion extends to the changing landscape of fundraising and the impact of recent social and racial justice movements on philanthropic efforts. Jeff emphasizes the need to view donors as partners rather than transactions and nurturing long-term relationships with them.
Jeff also addresses the challenge of recruiting young people of color into the fundraising sector. He emphasizes the importance of demystifying fundraising, showcasing its potential for positive change, and inviting young professionals into a rewarding career focused on fulfilling people's passions.