Moore's CEO on being Irish and the gathering of the green

Cecelia Fitzgibbon

Cecelia Fitzgibbon puts a lot of stock in being Irish -- she even credits it for helping her succeed at fund raising -- an increasingly important part of her job as president of Moore College of Art & Design. "I've found that being Irish is extremely helpful in raising money," she told me during our Leadership Agenda interview published in Monday's Philadelphia Inquirer.

Question: How so, other than both the Irish and money have something to do with being green?

A: Well, it's the ability to tell a story. It's the sense of humor. It is the charm, the personal warmth, believing in what you are doing.

Q: Do you like fund raising?

A: I'm better at it that I ever thought I would be.

Q: You say it's simple. Really?

A: You engage people in what you are doing and then you ask them what you think. It's not about me doing the dog-and-pony show. It's about me sharing where we are going and then asking them what they care about. They must care about something for us even to be sitting at the table together.

Q: But then, at some point, you have to lay out a suggested donation.

A: You go through research and then you say an amount. Then you are supposed to be quiet. Absolutely quiet. Because the rule of thumb is, he or she who speaks first loses.

Monday's blog post: Winning over critics.