Tanushree’s PERSPECTIVES Interview
Here is the first of many more to come interviews that Tanushree will produce and host at Charity Spring Perspectives, a series of interviews on the subject of philanthropy. Going forward, the Patch interviews will be of local philanthropic leaders. It will be a spacious conversation about the big questions at the center of global philanthropy, from the largest new initiatives to the most ancient traditions of human society.
Kathy Cunningham founded EmpirePR in 1992. She quickly became one of New Zealand’s leading media relations, event marketing and sponsorship experts, winning all the awards and largest charity and corporate clients along the way and still today. Here Kathy graciously offers her perspectives on charity and the world of philanthropy as Charity Spring’s very first expert Perspectives interviewee.
1.What is the secret of your success? Persistence. Passion. Patience. Someone once told me that I was too assertive and I think I am a pussycat…
2. How far have you gone (what is the most you have risked) to help a cause? Participated in a Mercy Mission from New York to Warsaw by airlifting evaporated milk and medical supplies to the children Poland after the Chernobyl nuclear disaster on a Flying Tigers cargo jet for Americares.
3. If you knew then what you know now, would you have done anything different straight out of college (or even during college)? Yes! I would have travelled the world for one year before even deciding what I wanted to study at college.
4. What do you think are the top three rules of fundraising? Ask. Thank. Engage.
5. What is your greatest hope and/or worry about youth in philanthropy today? My hope is that we continue to learn every day about what we can do to help.
6. Did you have a mentor? Never – that is why I mentor students now. I believe this is very important throughout our lives, not just while at school.
7. What inspired you to give so much of your time and energy to philanthropy? Because I care, and have the time and desire to make a difference.
8. Who do you think is bringing the most positive change to philanthropy today? Bill & Melinda Gates on a big scale. You, me and everyone who cares and acts on a global scale.
9. Do you think charities are selling themselves short when doing too much to sell their cause? Not sure what you consider too much. But, no. It’s a tough market and we all have to ensure that our current donors as well as finding new ones understand in and believe in our cause enough to donate time, money, clothes, food, etc.
10. Where is the greatest potential for youth today in philanthropy? Volunteer. Discover what you really care about, then learn about the issues. The more you know, the better decisions you will make.
11. What is the best role media and social media can play in philanthropy? We play – social media is the tool. We must engage with donors and possible contributors by using the media they are consuming – simple!
DONOR ADVISED FUNDS: Donor-advised funds last year grew for the first time since 2007, the best year the funds had before the recession took hold, according to this study released yesterday. Using data from 652 organizations, the National Philanthropic Trust examined the performance of the funds, which allow people to set up charitable accounts, take an immediate tax deduction, and channel money to whatever charities they want whenever they want.
SMALL FOUNDATIONS: Private foundations with assets of less than $50-million increased grant-making in real-dollar terms the past four years and gave more than double the federal minimum required, despite declines in their endowments, summarizing a study released yesterday by the Foundation Source. The smaller groups, which account for 98 percent of U.S. foundations, increased giving by 4.5 percent from 2008 through 2011 and put 11.6 percent of their assets toward grants and other charitable expenses.
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