This week we mourn the passing of perhaps the most genteel, kind and decent person ever to enter the mad fracas that is fundraising.
Mike MacLeod founded and ran Public Interest Data, for years the data warehouse of choice for progressive non-profit direct mail fundraisers. Amidst a million reasons to be cynical, he never was. Not about the business, and not about the causes he served. Unlike myself, he did suffer fools gladly – or to be clear, he saw that the fools were actually not fools at all.
At our too-rare dinner gatherings he had a gentle and avuncular way of chiding me when I began veering off into assholism. He was crazy generous; he would never think of letting someone else pick up the dinner check, and he appreciated it when you stopped trying.
I’ve had a small handful of mentors in my professional career. Mike was one of them. He showed me what being a deeply good person really looked like. There are many days when i would do well to be like Mike.