Chuck Hammond Recognized by His Peers
Awarded the Dr. John S. Lore Award
The DR. JOHN S. LORE AWARD FOR OUTSTANDING FUNDRAISING EXECUTIVE is for an outstanding individual fundraising executive who practices his/her profession in an exemplary manner. The recipient must have at least ten years of professional fundraising experience, evidence of quality of leadership and acting as a team player, be a current member of AFP, commitment to continuing professional development, and commitment to fundraising and philanthropy through volunteer service and financial support of non-profit organizations.
Well, I was led to a career in fundraising by I was working for political campaigns of all things in the late 1970s. And I literally answered an ad for a job at the United foundation in 1980, which was charitable fundraising, as opposed to political fundraising, of course. And I got that job. And I haven’t looked back since that was a great place to begin my career. It taught you at a young age, how to deal with some pretty high-powered corporate leaders in the community.
As I got into that job, and I just developed a great appetite for fundraising as a profession, but also for seeing how the dollars that we raised help transform lives. And that’s what has inspired me all these years.
Frankly, the role of a fundraiser has changed over the course of my 40-year career. Fundraising 40 years ago, was just emerging as a profession. Colleges and universities and hospitals and healthcare systems were ahead of the rest of the non-profit industry, which has since caught up, but it just wasn’t a established profession back then. A lot of people would ask, “You do that for a living?” And you reply, “Yes, I do this as a full time living.”
Corporate giving 40 years ago in the Detroit area played a much more prominent role than it does today. Foundations have really come online in the last 20 years to make a huge difference in the community. And we’re now seeing in recent years at transfer of wealth from one generation to the next is creating new foundations, like the Davidson Foundation, the Ralph Wilson Foundation, etc. And that’s really going to carry us into the future.
But remember, over 80% of giving in the United States, comes from individuals. I do think fundraising is being challenged in this environment of a pandemic. And there’s been a lot of civil unrest, unrest in this country this past summer. And issues around racial disparities, particularly in fields like health care, have emerged as a big priority. So, as we move beyond COVID, and right now, a lot of fundraising, and a lot I should say, a lot of grant making in the Detroit area is focused on COVID relief, which is a wonderful thing to see.
But as we move into the future, issues of social justice, equity, racial disparities in health care, etc., as I’ve mentioned, I think are going to be lifted as philanthropic priorities in our community, and we’re going to see more and more of that focus in the next five years.