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New applied research institute will help nonprofits improve fundraising



INDIANAPOLIS — Nonprofits will be better able to improve their fundraising by integrating the latest research into their efforts thanks to gifts from national fundraising executive Robert F. Hartsook, founder and chairman of the Hartsook Companies, Inc., to the Indiana University Lilly Family School of Philanthropy, school officials announced today.

Hartsook and the school are creating the Hartsook Institute for Applied Fundraising Research to advance research by assessing the results of new fundraising ideas, translating research into practice, and applying research in real-life situations. Its goal is to move fundraising research along the continuum from initial research to its application in the field by fundraising professionals, similar to the manner in which medical research moves from baseline research to prototype to clinical testing.

This scientific approach is focused on refining fundraising research and demonstrating its ability to strengthen and increase nonprofits’ fundraising. The new institute will combine previous and new gifts from Hartsook to increase its impact on fundraising.

“Bob’s ongoing generosity, commitment and counsel to the IU Lilly Family School of Philanthropy has helped the school advance fundraising research and education not only at IUPUI but around the world,” said Charles R. Bantz, chancellor of Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis and executive vice president of Indiana University. “We thank him for his support and his dedication to growing philanthropy. We are pleased to honor him for his commitment to the school and the field of fundraising.”

The Hartsook Institute initially will include:

  • The Robert F. Hartsook Chair in Fundraising, who also will serve as director of the Institute.
  • The Hartsook Founding Dean’s Fellow.
  • The Franztreb Fundraising Lecture Series.
  • The Million Dollar List.

“Bringing Bob’s gifts to the school together as complementary elements within the Hartsook Institute for Applied Fundraising Research will provide a foundation for its important mission,” said Gene Tempel, founding dean of the Lilly Family School of Philanthropy. “We appreciate Bob’s tremendous, long-standing support, which will help us take fundraising research and education to a new level.”

The Lilly Family School of Philanthropy presented Hartsook with a key to the school April 29 at a ceremony in Indianapolis. He is one of the first leaders to be accorded the special honor.

“I am honored to receive this recognition from the Lilly Family School of Philanthropy, which is the unparalleled leader in philanthropy education and research in the U.S. and around the world,” Hartsook said. “Creating the Hartsook Institute for Applied Fundraising Research here at the school will underscore the vital role research plays in fundraising and will effectively translate and test research, developing proven practices to expand philanthropy.”

Hartsook has made many generous gifts to the Lilly Family School of Philanthropy during the past 15 years.

  • With his friend and mentor Arthur C. Frantzreb, who was chairman emeritus of Hartsook Companies, a fundraising pioneer and early advisor to the school, he donated the original Million Dollar List in 1999. Conceived and maintained for 33 years by Frantzreb, the list of publicly reported gifts of $1 million or more is now an inspiration for fundraisers and donors and a widely cited national resource with its own website and searchable database.
  • To honor Frantzreb, Hartsook launched the Frantzreb Fundraising Lecture Series, which explores key topics in fundraising, providing a valuable professional development opportunity for fundraisers.
  • Hartsook served on the board of the school’s predecessor, the Center on Philanthropy at Indiana University.
  • The Hartsook Founding Dean’s Fellow Fund supports a graduate student who has the opportunity to work directly with the founding dean.
  • Hartsook created the Robert F. Hartsook Chair in Fundraising, the world’s first endowed chair in fundraising. The first holder of the chair, Adrian Sargeant, has made numerous contributions to research about fundraising and how to apply research results to improve fundraising practices in the U.S. and internationally.

A nationally recognized fundraiser, Hartsook has made a significant impact on the field. Over the past 25 years, Hartsook Companies has conducted more than 5,000 fundraising efforts and campaigns for clients representing a wide range of organizations and causes.

Hartsook founded the Hartsook Growing Philanthropy Award and the Hartsook Institutes for Fundraising, which he describes as “a multi-campus network dedicated to a knowledge, research and competency-based curriculum designed to improve the quality of fundraising professionals.” The Hartsook Institutes pioneered “Days of Service” in 10 cities, impacting nearly 500 nonprofits’ fundraising challenges, including one following the Joplin, Mo., tornado.

Hartsook is the author of numerous books and countless articles on successful fundraising. Emporia State University honored him with its Distinguished Alumni Award, and he received the IUPUI Spirit of Philanthropy Award from the Lilly Family School of Philanthropy. He holds a Bachelor of Arts in economics, a master’s degree in counseling, a law degree and a doctorate in education.

About the Lilly Family School of Philanthropy

The Indiana University Lilly Family School of Philanthropy is dedicated to improving philanthropy to improve the world by training and empowering students and professionals to be innovators and leaders who create positive and lasting change. The school offers a comprehensive approach to philanthropy through its academic, research and international programs and through The Fund Raising School, Lake Institute on Faith & Giving, and the Women’s Philanthropy Institute. Follow the school on Twitter @IUPhilanthropy or “Like” the Lilly School of Philanthropy on Facebook.