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President's Message: President's Message

Thursday, July 31, 2014

President's Message

- Frank McMeen

Recently I was meeting with a group of leaders from a nonprofit.  One of the top management of the organization vented in frustration, “No one is giving to nonprofits any more.  Times are too bad.”  I thought  . . . “WHAT????”  Granted, we have been through the toughest times since the Great Depression.  Granted that nonprofits have had a tough time and many donors reduced their charitable giving.  BUT . . . a worthy cause continues to be supported . . . even in bad times because it is worthy of support! 

Having spent more than 40 years in the nonprofit and fundraising arena, I have noticed that bad times cull out some nonprofits . . . but then again,  good times cull out nonprofits.  Nonprofits are like businesses.  They succeed due to their work and their leadership.  Successful businesses have leaders who are visionaries and committed to growth and success.  People give to people with vision and who are loyal to a good cause. I have yet to see a worthy nonprofit with good leadership suffer in good or bad times.  We choose our destiny!  Leadership determines the outcomes of businesses and nonprofits. 

The APTA possess the future of Tennessee’s most impressive and historical buildings and artifacts. Our mission is to strengthen and build on the future for the next generation.  Our goal is to provide a solid financial base of support for each facility.  That is where local boards shine!  They hold the responsibility of preserving and enriching their historic property.  The local chapters are the true champions of APTA!  Every day they go to work thinking about how to preserve and protect . . . promote and prosper.

Fundraising is part of what chapters must do for their property.  While we might believe that no one wants to contribute, donors are there.  Donors like to see our community treasures preserved.  We have a wonderful responsibility.  We hold the past and bring it into the future.  Donors want to protect our history.  Donors want to sponsor beneficial programs.  Donors do believe in our cause.  The simple rules of fundraising are 1) have a worthy product 2) believe in your product 3) ask for their support.  I have never seen these simple rules fail.  Universities, charities and organizations like the APTA succeed because of these simple rules.

The wonderful State of Tennessee is a better place to live, work and raise a family because of the work of the many volunteers and leaders of the APTA!

Thank you!