Just a minute with John Stanley Founder, President , The Legacy Group

Last updated on May 13th, 2019 at 02:33 pm

Company address:
125 N. Executive Drive, Suite 206, Brookfield, WI 53005
Company Web site:
Industry: Philanthropy
Number of employees: 6
B.S. from Texas Tech University
Family: Wife, Jamee, interior designer; son, Micah, a junior at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee; and daughter, Karen, a graduate of the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse. ("Karen is leaving on a 90-day canoe expedition to the Arctic Ocean with five other women. Talk about a small biz education … Wow!")

What was the smartest
thing your company did in
the past year?
"Recruiting and selecting our strategic partners to bring talent and capacity: McDonald Schaefer for annual fund campaigns; eTapestry for donor database software; Winter Kloman Moter and Repp for financial management; QTI Human Resources for HR management; and Emerald Isle for marketing and public relations."

What’s new at your company?
"Since 1999, we have been advising and providing management outsourcing for private and corporate foundations. Now we offer advice and management outsourcing to nonprofit organizations. We discovered that nonprofit leaders would like to outsource the functions such as annual fund campaigns, financial management and HR management on a full- or part-time basis."

Do you plan to hire any additional staff or make any significant capital investments in your company in the next year?
"We have the capacity to deliver on our promises with the talent we now have, complemented by our strategic partners. We will hire additional database managers for nonprofit donor databases that we manage."

What will be your company’s main challenges in the
next year?
"Matching our new services with the right nonprofit organizations. Our research indicates that there is a significant need, but we know that we will do our best work and be the most helpful with specific nonprofits and foundations, not all of them."

What’s the hottest trend in your industry?
"Evaluation: how do we know we are making a difference in a given nonprofit organization or with our charitable dollars?"

Do you have a business mantra?
"Put philanthropy to work to solve our most intractable problems and remember when investing your charitable dollars: bigger is not better … better is better. Back the jockey and not the horse."

From a business standpoint, who do you look up to?
"I tell more stories about my friend and mentor, Bob Buford, than anyone else. Bob sold his business 15 years ago and now invests his talent, resources and Rolodex into solving some of our society’s most enduring problems. He is the author of the books "Halftime" and "Finishing Well."

What was the best advice you ever received?
"After a week of intense leadership training at the Gallup Organization, I was sitting on a deck overlooking a golf course, when Don Clifton, chairman, said to me, ‘John just imagine what you will be able to accomplish now as you lead with your strengths of vision and building relationships and simply manage your non-strengths.’ My breakthrough is I don’t work on things I am not good at just to get better and become a more ‘well-rounded’ leader."

What’s the funniest thing
that ever happened to you
in your career?
"I used a Slinky as a leadership metaphor when cultivating a million dollar donor for a nonprofit I led. It worked. He gave the million, and we launched a leadership training initiative that has touched thousands."

What do you like to do in your free time?
"Flyfishing and upland bird hunting with my dog, Dallas."

May 27, 2005, Small Business Times, Milwaukee, WI

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