» Subscribe Today!
More of what you want to know.
The Daily News
X

Forgot your password?
TDN Services
Research millions of people and properties [+]
Monitor any person, property or company [+]

Skip Navigation LinksHome >
VOL. 129 | NO. 190 | Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Pearl and Mel Shaw

Leadership and Fundraising

By Mel and Pearl Shaw

Print | Front Page | Email this story | Comments ()

“... The true leader can be recognized because somehow or other his people consistently turn in superior performances. ... A leader is great, not because of his or her power, but because of his or her ability to empower others. Success without a successor is failure.”

This quote from Robert Townsend was used by Jeanette O’Bryant, development coordinator at the National Civil Rights Museum, as she introduced her boss, outgoing museum president Beverly Robertson.

She concluded her remarks with Townsend’s words: “Loyalty to the leader reaches its highest peak when the follower has personally grown through the mentorship of the leader. Why? Because you win people’s heart by helping them grow personally.”

These words capture the essence of Robertson. She has a strong respect for her staff and has provided them with opportunities to grow and assume leadership. And she is leaving the museum in a strong position for her successor to build from.

The event we were attending was an intimate breakfast at the newly renovated museum that brought together former board members, volunteers, donors, supporters, staff and community members to hear Robertson’s reflections and tour the museum with her.

She began by lifting up current and former staff, board members and volunteers – calling them by name and thanking them for their involvement. She made it clear that her tenure was rooted not in the status that accompanies her position, but rather in her commitment to the museum and the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

Here are qualities we observe in Robertson that contribute to her success as a fundraising leader.

She makes everyone she comes in contact with feel good about their interactions with her and their support of the museum. She invites everyone to the table, while keeping her eye on the prize: raising money. She lifts up her staff, encourages them to move beyond what they perceive as their limitations and provides opportunities for professional growth. She is a “we” not “me” person. Never once have we heard, “I raised the money.” She is clear that fundraising is front and center for a nonprofit’s success. She summed it up with “No money, no mission,” followed by a warm laugh that embraced the audience. In our words: You can have great ideas, but without money it is very difficult to bring them to life.

Robertson has served as president for 17 years, ending her tenure with the opening of the renovated museum and the beginnings of an endowment. She will be succeeded by Terri Lee Freeman, president of the Community Foundation for the National Capital Region, a public foundation serving the District of Columbia, suburban Maryland and northern Virginia.

We salute Beverly Robertson and we welcome Terri Lee Freeman.

Learn more about the National Civil Rights Museum at civilrightsmuseum.org.

Mel and Pearl Shaw position nonprofits, colleges and universities for fundraising success. For help with your campaign visit saadandshaw.com or call 901-522-8727.

RECORD TOTALS DAY WEEK YEAR
PROPERTY SALES 56 289 2,908
MORTGAGES 55 226 2,009
FORECLOSURE NOTICES 14 51 326
BUILDING PERMITS 108 1,002 6,703
BANKRUPTCIES 42 248 1,225
BUSINESS LICENSES 0 115 606
UTILITY CONNECTIONS 0 0 0
MARRIAGE LICENSES 0 0 0