Sunday, December 04, 2016

America's Obama Mission Drift and All That Jazz

Hollywood *created our President through American Mission drift.

I spent twenty-five years of my forty year career in Catholic education as a fund-raiser - Director of Development is usual term, or more the MBA school of B.S. nomenclature Director of Institutional Advancement.  Either term means 'the person who makes calls on people to make donations.'

Calls mean pitches to potential donors that involve matching Mission to Operations.

You state -"Here is what we stand for" and through a series of infinitives:
  • To expand its ability
  • To provide a quality Catholic education
  • To instill the virtues of 
  • To prepare students

attempt to match mission to peration . . . and all that jazz.  This is followed by a representation of programs and activities, budget, financials and needs assessment and the ask.  The ask is usually in keeping with the need, but it was my happy experience that the give often exceeded the ask.

The Mission; the Operation/Needs and the Ask - that is the job - it ain't brain surgery.  Tell that to an Institutional Advancement Suit.  I lived by the dictum of the late Father Ken Yarno, C.S.V. - " Be Brief and Be Gone!"  Donors don't want pals, or neat guys for lunch dates.  They want to help a school, a program, or a cause with a minimum of BS.

It was my experience that 80 % of the money came from  20% of our donors.   That is a very healthy match of mission to operation.

One of my tasks was to make sure that the 20% included new donors and gift grants from foundations.

I found that in my last years, foundations drifted from their stated missions.  Likewise, big individual donors wanted to make more impact on the broader society.  Foundations that had been family faith spirited became more social justice locked-up and giving templates became 'systemic' gives to hot-button causes like immigration reform, public education reform, public health reform, law reform and out-reach programs.

Foundations were driven by big donors and big causes by big agendas.

Today in 2016, Americans gave over 300 Billion dollars to charity.  However, the donations are being driven by fewer people.  It is now something like a 90/10.

One of the most useful works for fund-raisers in Catholic education was Peter Greer's 2014 Mission Drift:The Unspoken Crisis Facing Leaders, Charities and Churches. Greer argues that,  faith-based organizations drift from their found missions "Slowly, silently, and with little fanfare, organizations routinely drift from their purpose, and many never return to their original intent. Harvard and the YMCA are among those that no longer embrace the Christian principles on which they were founded. But they didn't drift off course overnight. Drift often happens in small and subtle ways. Left unchecked, it eventually becomes significant. "

Let's say, one day that Bubs Murtaugh, a wildly wealthy alumnus of St. Regular Guy's Catholic Prep, is harpied by his third trophy wife to get more Catholic kids educated to the benefits of Planned Parenthood, the Revolutionary Communist Party USA and NAMBLA.  To that end, Bubs writes check in the amount of $ 6,095, 285, 000,000 to St. Regular Guy.  That would be some Board to tear up that check.

No one would give that much?

Could happen.  I had a guy write a $500,000 check without an ask.

My guy said put it to good use - scholarships.  A crowd of Alums owe their sheepskins to this guy, but he is no Bubs Murtaugh.   

I know schools that have 'go be along with the Big Bangers,' some to a great end and others not so much.  Mission drift.

America, like world of philanthropy, had undergone a massive mission drift at the very same time.  Money drives political parties and political parties drive people who are not paying attention.

Catholics who find abortion to be a necessary 'distraction' from the really wonderful things that Planned Parenthood does for women's health did not arrive at that goofy premise over-night.  Slowly, in 'in small subtle ways'  crazy notions that roll over eternal truths become the intellectual currency of people who do not pay attention.

Dick Durbin did not happen over night.  He needed time and a lack of attention.

My Democratic Party, the one that beat fascism, fought back Communism, created the American Middle Class and our once great standard of living suffered mission drift from 1972 DNC in Miami to the present. 

Gradually, an entire nation that honored valor, worth, integrity, competence and fierce of love of country found Barack Obama to be its Chief Executive.  Hollywood, GM, GE, Goldman Sachs, Sierra Club, George Soros, Henry Van Amerigen, Fred Eychaner, SEIU, ALF-CIO were driving the mission of the Democratic Party which had shed Hubert Humphrey, Scoop Jackson and Daniel Patrick Moynihan for the likes of Anthony Weiner, Debbie Wasserman Schultz and Nancy Pelosi as its face and voice.

Why not an untested bi-racial back bencher as Chief Executive?  People no longer pay attention.

Occupy Wall Street and blew up more of America than Bill Ayers, Bernardine Dorhn and Weathermen ever dreamed of bombing.  God bless them, as Speaker Pelosi cooed.

Mission drift happened.  It happened in philanthropy and it happened in government.

November 8th was a push back at mission drift. And all that jazz - America Great Again, Mad Dog Mathis, Carrier.

Hey, that's super.  However foundations are rooted in their agendas - looking downstream, Polk Brothers, Woods Fund MacArthur Foundation, Carnegie, Rockefeller, Ford, Hearst and  all the rest are still driven to the rive gauche.

Let's see if people will pay attention. 

 * with very few execptions.

No comments: