As a leader in Seattle’s arts community and a college professor, Jackson is just getting started. Southern Theatre magazine has recently named Jackson among a group of rising leaders who are paving the way for the future of fundraising. What I most appreciated about today’s conversation was that, while Jackson is explicit in his desire to do away with fundraising’s narrow focus on the top three percent, he’s evidently chosen not to be envious and make wealth-bashing part of his repertoire. Jackson isn’t typecasting anyone.
In today’s conversation, Jackson challenges fundraisers to check themselves before they set out to raise money. He wants fundraisers to think carefully about their own relationship with money and wealth and to examine how they go about engaging with and soliciting the support of their donors. Jackson wants us to ask ourselves whether we’re creating opportunities for our donors to be better people and whether we’re creating experiences aimed at creating more than mere transactions. Like so many of my guests in the last couple of years, Jackson has high aspirations and wants to see qualitative improvements in how we carry out our work.
Much of our conversation was about how fundraisers can best steward relationships with their donors. For example, Jackson described the opportunity that nonprofits have to curate meaningful experiences for those who began their life with very little and then, late in life, found themselves with more than they could have ever imagined. Jackson wants us to envision our organizations not only as places for raising awareness and providing services but also as places for demonstrating solidarity and expressing gratitude.
As always, we are especially grateful to our friends at CueBack for sponsoring The Fundraising Talent Podcast.