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Honor the Living Legacy of Frances Hesselbein

Raised toward our $30,000 Goal
94 Donors
Project has ended
Project ended on December 31, at 11:59 PM EST
Project Owners

To Serve Is To Live! The final day of our campaign!

December 31, 2020

89%!! We are almost there. 

With the generosity of Alan Mulally’s matching donations in the month of December, this campaign will be a success! Today is the last day for donations!  

Thank YOU!

You have joined us in contributing to our mission to develop and inspire current and future leaders. We are especially grateful in these challenging times for your continued solidarity as we work to spread the message that leaders focused on mission, innovation and diversity will impact the change so needed in society today. 

2020 revealed an urgent need for more diverse, values-based leaders of character. And YOU are part of the solution as we continue our work in 2021. Thank you. 

Wishing you a warm last day of 2020, and JOY in the new year. 

A Global Campaign + #ToServeIsToLive Profiles

December 11, 2020

74 donors to date, including leaders from Canada, Switzerland, Thailand, Colombia + New Zealand!

We are 74% toward our December 31 goal! 

As you know, Alan Mulally will match donations DOLLAR for DOLLAR, up to $50,000. How amazing would it be to exceed our goal!? 

On social media, we have posted #ToServeIsToLive profiles—from high school students to executive leaders, Frances’ leadership philosophy and our leadership resources have impacted leaders at every level.

Here are a few of the features:

Visionary Leadership 

"Frances Hesselbein is one of the most visionary leaders I have met during my military career—on or off the battlefield."

-       General Lloyd J. Austin III, United States Army

Staying Positive 

"The lesson that meant the most to me was Ms. Hesselbein's positive personality + message about respect and 'hope for a brighter future.' We always should respect everyone.”

-       Ashley L., Military Child Education Coalition

Sharing Leadership Wisdom

“I write speeches for a Federal official who frequently speaks about leadership—the Leadership Tips are so useful.”

-       Susan Milstrey Wells

A Focus on Diversity

"Frances spoke to a group of our Notre Dame School high school seniors about women in leadership and how diversity allows for many perspectives and different ways of thinking. Our students are our future + they were encouraged to dream big!"

-       Elizabeth Bixenman, Notre Dame School  

Respect Without Ego

"Frances explained that a good leader does not have an ego—instead, gives respect + credit to everyone involved in making change. This is one lesson I want to take with me in my life."

-       Tufts University Student

Undivided Attention

"Halfway through a party we hosted for Frances at Girl Scouts, I spotted her concentrating on the crowd. She said, "I am working the room. Now, is there anyone here who I haven't yet said hello to?" She wanted to ensure a moment with each and every guest."

-       Julie Sygiel, Girl Scouts of the USA

Supportive Encouragement 

“Some of the most influential people… France Hesselbein…believe in our generation + what we can accomplish...believe that WE will be the LEADERS + the CHANGE the world needs. ”

-       Kazie C., Military Child Education Coalition

Selfless Love

“Frances has been such an incredible inspiration and teacher for me and so many others, exemplifying a life that is rooted in a faithful life of service that goes beyond simple acts of kindness. Her legacy has continued to chart a course (for me) of selfless love for the betterment of others.”

-       Drew Hyun, Hope Midtown

How to Be

"I worked with Frances for the majority of my 20s and watched how she “spoke softly but carried a big stick.” I certainly haven’t always gotten that right but am grateful to Frances for being a wonderful example. Her life and leadership are inspiration to be and do better!"

-       Justine Elyse Francois, Boston Consulting Group 

Thank you!


Exciting Announcement— with 30 days left ALL DONATIONS MATCHED!

December 01, 2020

Greetings from Pittsburgh!

We have an exciting development in our campaign—and we wanted to share it with you!

Former CEO of Boeing Commercial Airplanes and The Ford Motor Company, Alan Mulally, will match ALL donations beginning today, Giving Tuesday, through December 31, 2020 (up to $50,000!) to help ensure that Frances’ “To Serve Is To Live” leadership philosophy will continue to inspire students preparing to be public servants and leaders at every level, in every sector.

"My approach to leadership has always been to first recognize that it is an honor to serve. Frances has dedicated her life to serving, and she has contributed to meaningful and compelling visions for countless organizations. Frances is someone I talk with about leadership, and her commitment to continuously improving, contributing, and serving, is very inspiring to me," said Mulally.

With 30 days left, we’re at 48% of our goal! We hope you have been inspired by our social media #ToServeIsToLive Profiles, which we will continue to highlight. Thank you for your generosity not only in donating, but also sharing this campaign with others to help us reach our goal!

Supporters like you help ensure that current and future leaders receive the leadership resources that will inspire them to serve.

Thank you!

Thank you for a great start!

November 06, 2020


Thank you to all who have joined us in contributing to our mission to develop and inspire current and future leaders. In just one week, over 40 people stepped up to contribute a combined $9,735! This is a true testament to your vision for the future, and we thank you. 

Frances celebrated her 105th birthday on Nov. 1 in the style of our times…on Zoom! More than 150 friends near and far joined in the celebration. Frances is so grateful for your presence, gifts, messages and donations.

There is something about being together virtually that is so powerful. I am doing well, and I am, of course, looking forward to being back in the office. All I can see is a bright future!  - Frances 

With 55 days left, we’re at 32% of our goal! We look forward to providing additional updates. Look for some fun “Frances Stories” on social media at #ToServeIsToLive, and please continue to share this Campaign with others to help us reach our goal!

Once again, THANK YOU and cheers to lifelong learning, civic engagement and “To Serve Is To Live!”

Choose a giving level


Presidential Medal of Freedom

In 1998, President Bill Clinton awarded Frances the Presidential Medal of Freedom—the nation’s highest civilian honor—and recognized her as a “a pioneer for women, volunteerism, diversity and opportunity.” A gift at this level celebrates this achievement and honors Frances’ legacy as a champion of diversity and inclusion.


Inspiring Military Leaders

From 2009-2011, Frances held the 1951 Chair for the Study of Leadership at the U.S. Military Academy at West Point. She was the first woman, and the first non-graduate to serve in this Chair. In this position, she inspired hundreds of cadets and seasoned military leaders with her commitment to ethical, values-based leadership.


Happy Birthday Frances!

Donate in honor of Frances’ “milestone” 2020 November 1 birthday! (105! Shhh! Frances believes that “Age is irrelevant, it is what you do with your life that counts.”)


Support a Student

Support one graduate student pursuing a career in international affairs—whether as a diplomat, intelligence and security official, development professional, or in the private sector—in working effectively with leaders from around the world through the Hesselbein Leadership Program in International Affairs, designed and directed by Julia Santucci.


Fund a Workshop

Fund one leadership development workshop led by a featured Hesselbein Executive Coach, who will provide mentoring to GSPIA students and counsel to faculty and staff on programming and research in the Hesselbein Forum.


Leaders Developing Leaders

Celebrate the number of Leader to Leader Journal authors who have contributed to the Hesselbein Forum pool of intellectual capital, which serves as a resource for graduate students and leaders in all three sectors.


Fund a Lecture

Fund one Hesselbein Lecture, featuring proven leaders and thoughtful scholars presenting state-of-the-art ideas on leadership theory and practice, with a focus on public and nonprofit organizations.


Happy Anniversary!

Honor 30 years of leadership inspiration! The Hesselbein Forum began in 1990 (founded as the Peter F. Drucker Foundation for Nonprofit Management) and through the years was renamed to honor the leadership legacy and ongoing contributions of Frances Hesselbein. 2020 marks the 30th anniversary of an organization strengthening leadership and inspiring leaders.

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