At Pleiades, our reason for being is to passionately offer precise navigation for nonprofits to successfully enhance their leadership and fundraising efforts with hands-on guidance, assistance, and even full implementation… So that the nonprofits we serve can realize an abundance of revenue to boldly move forward to achieve their greater mission goals.
One of the best ways we can inspire you as you aim to improve your fundraising programs is to point to those who are making great progress in their own endeavors.
For the next while, our blog will feature the Rising Stars we see doing great things in the industry.
To start, we would like to introduce you to Paul Kaminski, CEO of the Long Beach City College Foundation. Please join us for the interview that follows:
Pleiades: Can you share a little about yourself and your history with your organization? Where are you located, and what is your target demographic for your organization’s services?
Paul: I have been with this organization for 4 years. I grew up and have resided in and around Long Beach since 1966. We serve the entire Long Beach, Lakewood, Signal Hill and Avalon community. We also support early childhood development and senior studies.
Pleiades: You have been with your organization for a while now. Can you share what the state of development looked like when you first arrived and contrast that with what it looks like today? I would love to hear more about some of the initiatives you have started during your time so far.
Paul: When I arrived, There wasn’t a firm direction on the vision for fundraising. We immediately jumped into a feasibility study to launch a comprehensive campaign aimed at endowment, while still meeting the needs of current students. At the time, our social media was non-existent, and we did not have an organized planned giving program. Today, we have every aspect of a solid philanthropy program.
Pleiades: Have you been intentional about gift planning? If so, for how long and what initiatives have you made to help move the needle in a positive direction?
Paul: We have a monthly newsletter that highlights gifts. We pursue every lead that surfaces. We are actively seeking community partners to help us in our efforts. I started on gift planning the first day I arrived here.
Pleiades:Have you received any larger estate or complex noncash gifts? How did those gifts benefit you as a foundation? How did they benefit your organization?
Paul: We have received a 5-million-dollar irrevocable estate gift which allowed us to name the auditorium. We also received a 2-million-dollar estate gift which allowed us to name the Automotive Technology building. These gifts will create multi-use endowments that will benefit our students in the form of scholarships and program support!
Pleiades:You understand how easy it is to engage in traditional fundraising events. What words of wisdom would you give to those who say they do not have enough time to give to developing their gift planning programs?
Paul: You have to implement an estate-giving program ASAP. This will yield long-term results. There is always going to be other things that divert your attention. Estate giving sows the seeds that produce the most abundance.
Pleiades:Regarding the future of your gift planning program, what would you say is most pressing for you to address?
Paul: Consistent messaging so that planned/estate giving is mentioned in all printed materials and whenever possible in speaking forums.
Pleiades:Thank you for giving us a snapshot of what you’re working on, Paul. Our takeaway is this: Though other fundraising efforts will continue to demand your attention, take what little precious time you have to prioritize your gift planning messaging and pursue every lead that comes from it. Thank you for joining us today.