Posts tagged ‘Penn State University’

September 14, 2018

Lions, Tigers and Bears, Oh My: Fundraising in Times of Crisis

As I’m writing this, Hurricane Florence is barreling toward North Carolina. Watching the news reports, I’m reminded that the best way to weather a storm is to prepare before one strikes. The tragic situation in the southeastern US can serve as a metaphor for coping with any type of crisis, even for the nonprofit sector.

The best way to deal with a crisis is to prepare for one before one strikes. 

Guest blogger Sophie W. Penney, PhD is a big believer in that axiom. Sophie is President of i5 Fundraising and Senior Program Coordinator/Lecturer for the Penn State University Certificate Program in Fundraising Leadership. As the co-editor and chapter author of the soon-to-be-released book, Student Affairs Fundraising, Raising Funds to Raise the Bar, Sophie will be sharing her insights at the CT Alliance 2018 Conference on October 2, 2018 where she will present a session about leading through challenging times, Lions, Tigers and Bears: Leading Through Crisis.

A crisis can affect any type of organization. The nonprofit sector is not immune. As I point out in “What is the Most Important Thing You Can Learn from Recent Nonprofit Scandals?” there are three broad types of scandals or crises: 1) self-inflicted scandals beyond your control, 2) self-inflicted scandals you could have avoided, and 3) guilt-by-similarity scandal.

I’m grateful to Sophie for her willingness to share with us a few tidbits from her upcoming presentation that will help us all become better prepared to weather any scandal or crisis as we continue to strive to raise more money:

 

Michael Rosen’s recent blog post, “The Dark Side of the Fundraising Profession,” was a clarion call to fundraisers. The piece served as a reminder that a profession designed to bring joy and result in great good can be fraught with challenges.

Fundraisers are pressed to raise ever-larger sums (and the sooner the better); as a result, it can be compelling to focus on fundraising tips, tools, and techniques that will bring in ever-bigger dollars. Yet a crisis, particularly legal or ethical in nature, can derail fundraising not only for a fiscal year, but for far longer.

Fundraising in times of crisis hit home for me in 2011 with the advent of the Jerry Sandusky Scandal. This child sexual abuse scandal toppled the Penn State University President, resulted in the abrupt firing of the University’s revered football coach, led to the sale of a nonprofit founded to serve the very types of children who became victims, and rocked a small community previously known as “Happy Valley.” What’s more, the scandal came to light in the midst of the University’s billion-dollar capital campaign, which was on the verge of going into a public phase. Yet, the Sandusky Scandal is just one of many such crises to rock the nonprofit world:

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June 25, 2012

Special Report Update: Former Penn State University Coach Convicted of Sex Abuse

[Publisher’s Note: “Special Reports” are posted from time-to-time as a benefit for subscribers and frequent visitors to this blog. “Special Reports” are not widely promoted. To be notified of all new posts, including “Special Reports,” please take a moment to subscribe in the right-hand column.]

 

Jerry Sandusky, former Penn State University football defensive coordinator, has been convicted of sexually abusing 10 boys over a 15 year period.  A jury found Sandusky guilty on 45 of 48 accounts. Following the verdict, Sandusky was ordered to jail where he will await sentencing, likely within 90 days. He faces the possibility of life in prison.

Even with the jury’s verdict, the story is not over. Former Penn State officials Tim Curley and Gary Schultz still face perjury charges related to an alleged cover-up of one of Sandusky’s abuse victims. At least one news report asserts that Penn State is encouraging Sandusky’s victims to come forward and settle any potential lawsuits privately. And, an artist has replaced an image of Sandusky on a State College, PA mural with the image of poet who speaks out against sexual abuse.

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January 22, 2012

Special Report: Former Penn State Coach Joe Paterno Dies

[Publisher’s Note: “Special Reports” are posted from time-to-time as a benefit for subscribers and frequent visitors to this blog. “Special Reports” are not widely promoted. To be notified of all new posts, including “Special Reports,” please take a moment to subscribe in the right-hand column.]

Happy Valley Pennsylvania, home of Penn State University, is not happy at all today. Former Football Coach and NCAA legend Joe Paterno, 85, died on Sunday, January 22, after a fight with lung cancer. 

JoePa will be remembered as the winningest college football coach ever with 409 wins, 136 losses, and 3 ties. Under his leadership the Nittany Lions won two national championships. He achieved this remarkable record while insisting upon good sportsmanship and a commitment to academics. It’s interesting to note that it is not the football stadium at Penn State that carries Paterno’s name, it is the library.

Paterno will also be remembered for his role in the Jerry Sandusky child sex-abuse scandal. The Penn State Board of Trustees, and even Paterno himself, thought he could have done more. His actions or inaction in the case and his subsequent firing will always be part of his legacy.

The Paterno story is a complicated one. He was certainly not the perfect man of myth. But, there is no denying the enormous good he accomplished on and off the gridiron. 

For more about the passing of Paterno:

“Paterno Legacy Damaged by Scandal, but Not Erased”

“Amid Scandal, Revered PSU Coach Joe Paterno Dies”

“Fired Penn State Coach Joe Paterno Dead at 85”

For more about the Jerry Sandusky child sex-abuse case:

“Actions of One Alleged & One Admitted Child-Rapist Impact You”

“Tragic Lessons of the Penn State Fiasco”

That’s what Michael Rosen says… What do you say?

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