By Bella DiNallo, Centre PACT Class of 2018
What do food and some good company have to do with philanthropy? Well, let me invite you into our last Centre PACT meeting, where we high school students had the benefit of getting to know five local philanthropists, including Linda Gall, Pieter and Lida Ouwehand, and Rich and Sally Kalin. Throughout the evening, we shared many experiences and asked a lot of questions, learning about the basic dos and don’ts of philanthropy along with the individual opinions and recommendations from each philanthropist. Sharing food and a few good laughs was the perfect segway into learning the grit of philanthropy and more specifically, the process of conducting a prospect meeting.
The ‘prospect meeting stage’ is one of the most intimidating stages for “new” philanthropists. This part of the conversation sparked many questions from us and allowed for an amazing discussion full of many comforting stories. Hearing about past experiences and first-time stories from these seasoned philanthropists resonated with many of the students, since the first time approaching “the ask” can be a nerve-racking experience.
After spending the first hour taking in as much advice as we could, beginning to feel an eager excitement for the upcoming stages of Centre PACT, we came back together to ask students to practice with each other. Although prospect meetings are not the most favorable portion of the year for most students, by the end of the night, everyone seemed to be inspired by the idea of making a tangible difference.
Thank you to all our local philanthropists, Linda Gall, Pieter and Lida Ouwehand, and Rich and Sally Kalin, for joining us and sharing everything you know about the process of conducting a prospect meeting and everything you have experienced being involved in philanthropy. We appreciate all we have learned and are excited for the upcoming months!