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Published: Monday, 10/15/2012 - Updated: 2 years ago

Management team addition shows growth

Local foundation seeks ‘more nimble’ system

BLADE STAFF
Keith Burwell. Keith Burwell.
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With rapid growth in recent years, the Toledo Community Foundation is restructuring its organizational chart to create a first-ever management team.

Foundation President Keith Burwell said that team will include Benjamin Imdieke, who was just hired as the senior philanthropic services officer, along with Sarah Harrison, senior program officer, and Kim Cryan, chief financial officer.

“We’re getting close to doubling in size,” Mr. Burwell said, explaining that the management team should enable the foundation to be “more nimble” as that growth continues.

When Mr. Burwell was hired in 2004, the foundation had about 325 funds with assets totaling $94 million. Today, it has more than 545 funds with assets of nearly $160 million. He said it is on course to disperse more money to area non-profits than in 2011 when it awarded some $13 million.

Mr. Imdieke, who has worked in development for 10 years, most recently was senior director of development at the University of California, Santa Barbara. A Minnesota native, he has a bachelor’s degree in political science from Kalamazoo College and a master’s in philanthropic studies from Indiana University.

Mr. Burwell said Mr. Imdieke will be in charge of the philanthropic services department, which works with individuals and families who have created funds at the foundation and those who are considering it.

Last year, the foundation had a total revenue of $24 million, including $17 million in new gifts.

Mr. Imdieke, who worked as vice president of development at Advocate Illinois Masonic Medical Center and, before that, as a senior consultant with Donald A. Campbell & Co. in Chicago, said attracting donors during tough economic times is a matter of staying focused.

“What I find is the thing that’s more difficult is keeping volunteer leaders excited about what they’re doing,” he said. “I think it’s easier when times are tougher for all of us to get down. What I’ve felt for the last four or five years is it’s about people keeping focused on the mission and motivated and when that’s front and center everything kind of falls into place.”

He said he worked on a fundraising campaign for the YWCA in Chicago at a time when Barack Obama was running for president and the city was trying to land the Olympics.

“We were starting a campaign and everybody told us we were crazy because there was so much going on,” Mr. Imdieke said. “We just had to focus.”

He said the campaign raised $3.5 million in the first year.



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