Sunday, July 15, 2012
You may have heard by now that Kay Lautman passed away on Monday, July 9.
Kay was one of the pioneers of fundraising who helped guide the development of our profession, especially in direct response. There have been several great blog posts about her and her work, including one from The Oram Group, where she worked, and The Agitator. I recommend that you learn more about Kay; she was a fascinating character.
What stands out to me about her life was her trailblazing efforts in breaking the glass ceiling for women. A woman leading a charity’s fundraising efforts? A woman starting her consulting firm? Those weren’t popular ideas when Kay started in fundraising in the 1950s, and she had a significant role in knocking down those barriers. Now, of course, women make up nearly two-thirds of the profession and hold important leadership roles in countless organizations.
Not that we don’t still have work to do, as our latest Compensation and Benefits Survey suggests. The gender gap between male and female salaries remains at more than $20,000 in the U.S. and a comparable amount in Canada.
Plus, we have to continue to attract more underserved and underrepresented members of the population into the profession. We need a profession that reflects the changing demographics of our societies, and the new ideas and perspective they can bring to fundraising and philanthropy.
These are issues AFP continues to work on. Kay lit the path. It’s up to the rest of us to pick up her torch and continue to build a profession she would be proud of.