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  1. William D. Kuenning

    Great points! "Authentic relationships" from and with all the stakeholders are the key, the "holy grail" of partner relationships -not transactional ones, and the least understood and nurtured in a world of false-placed urgencies and the smoke & mirrors of appearing to help on timelines relevant to the lifelines of real need –on all sides of the philanthropic fence.

    When the "high stakes" are better understood, by all parties, not as gifts in jeopardy but rather as critical support and better relevant and innovative matching for fueling creative and enduring solutions, then the complexity of the gift officer's activities will be more respected and focused upon -not as an entertaining manipulator but as the valuable, supportive bridge and window into relevance that they are.

    Poor gift relationships and status quo expectations of those relationships ultimately harm innovation for better solutions support. If we fill the donor’s least expectations, we lead them to expect nothing more. “Master” cannot evolve to “master manipulator”. The efficient potential that funding resources can have on immediate and lasting impacts deserves better than to be merely competent in obtaining a gift. Any salesperson can do that. Giving the donor a window into true relevance is what any great personal relationship does, and that takes an enormous amount of insight and dedication to build.

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