By Meghan McCaffrey CONTRIBUTING WRITER
---- — Joshua Truman was recently appointed the executive director of the Friends of the Bassett Healthcare Network.
Truman began working at Bassett in September of 2009 as the director of development, “overseeing personal solicitation of leadership and planned gifts, and event sponsorships,” Karen Huxtable wrote in a media release.
Truman, who began working in his new role on Jan. 1, said in an interview on Monday that the transition from being the director of development to the executive director has been seamless.
“It’s a smooth transition and a great challenge for me to see how we can engage our donors further,” Truman said.
Truman said that in his new position he will have the opportunity to meet and interact with more communities in the Bassett Network including Cobleskill, Oneonta and Herkimer.
“I will be working with these communities to engage our donors and to improve our planned donor base,” Truman said.
“We are working to provide better customer service to our patients and better customer service to our donors,” he continued.
Truman said he learned about fundraising from his days as an assistant golf professional at Cooperstown’s Leatherstocking Golf Course and later as a professional golfer who traveled the country competing in many golf tours and tournaments.
“I had 60 sponsors to support me,” he said. “I said, ‘If I can raise money for myself than I can raise money for a big organization.’”
After about five years as a club professional golfer, Truman decided to work as the major gift officer at Hartwick College, his alma mater.
While he served as “major gifts officer at Hartwick College, Truman was involved in special events, sponsorship acquisition, planning, and stewardship,” said Huxtable in the media release.
Truman said he made the transition to working in a healthcare network because he knew there would be a great need for fundraising and donor relations at Bassett.
Truman said his financial goals for the Friends of Bassett Healthcare Network are initially to maintain their current donor base and to build upon it in the future.
“We currently raise an average of two to three million dollars a year,” Truman said. “We really want to maintain that level.”
“We also have 3000 to 5000 donors a year,” he continued.
Truman said he would also be researching any areas where he can grow their “pipeline of support.”
Truman said that Bassett’s fundraising campaign for their Women’s Imaging Center is a priority for him.
“The goal is to raise $1.5 million dollars by the end of this calendar year,” he said.
“We have raised half of that amount in three and a half months so we’re hopeful that we can raise the full amount by the end of 2014,” he continued.
Joanne Tobey will also join the Friends’ leadership team.
Tobey serving as director of development operations, with managerial responsibility for database management and analysis, gift processing, corporate and foundation grants and direct response programs, Huxtable said in the media release.
Tobey has experience managing, “development operations, direct-response programs, and institutional giving for Glimmerglass Opera,” Huxtable said.
“She’ll be a great support for me going forward,” Truman said.
Michael Stein, the former executive director of the Friends’ organization, said that Truman has proven himself to be a strong leader.
“In the four short years that Josh has been with the Friends, he has demonstrated strong relationship-building and fundraising skills, which will enable him to address the philanthropic challenges we face,” Stein said.
“His experience and familiarity with Bassett will provide valuable insight as he takes on leadership of the Friends and works to strengthen the organization’s overall fundraising capacity,” he continued.
Stein, who is also the Bassett Healthcare Network’s vice president of development, will be shifting into a part-time network-wide role in government affairs for Bassett.