Boy Scouts of America
Standards and Performance Coach
William Bryant, Jr. is a Performance Coach/External Consultant for the National Office of the Boy Scouts of America. William is a Subject Matter Expert in Fund Development. He is the immediate past Senior Development Director for the Atlanta Area Council, Boy Scouts of America. William has served as a District Executive, Senior District Executive, District Director, Field Director, ScoutReach Director, Summer Camp Director, Woodbadge Staff Advisor, and Finance Director. In his over 15 years of experience, William has raised more than $240 million through annual giving, special events and endowment. William also served as the Council’s Endowment Director and managed the operational process of a $40M endowment fund.
William is the immediate past President of the Atlanta Nonprofit Professionals, past President of the Atlanta Urban League Young Professionals and past Co-Chair of Programs for the Association of Fundraising Professionals- Atlanta Chapter. Currently, William serves as the Chair of National Philanthropy Day 2018 for the AFP Chapter in Dallas, TX and National Co-Chair, 2018 African American Development Officers Network National Conference.
William is a graduate of LEAD Atlanta, a leadership program of selected executives from across the state. William holds membership in the Association of Fundraising Professionals, National Urban League, and is a very active member of Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Inc.
William has received the Atlanta Urban League’s Rising Star Award, Kappa Alpha Psi, Fraternity, Inc. Man of the Year Award and is the recipient of the coveted National President’s Award through the Boy Scouts. William has also achieved the Major Gift award for the past six consecutive years. William is an alumnus of Grambling State University and holds an MBA in Nonprofit Administration from Oglethorpe University.
In his spare time, he enjoys traveling, playing the saxophone, playing basketball and reading.
William’s interview was conducted by AADO member Natalie McGee.
How did you get into fundraising?
I guess I have been doing fundraising all my life and have not realized. In college, I would get sponsorships from businesses to sponsor SGA events or organizational events that were in-kind and monetary sponsors. However, when I started working for the Boy Scouts of America, I had to fundraise 30%. In 2007, I began fundraising 100%. I love what I do!
What has your experience been like as a person of color in the field of development/advancement?
Many times I am the only person of color or one of two in the room, especially at different training events or conferences. However, it is more women of color in the profession of fundraising than men of color. I am not quite sure why there is a lack of men of color in this field. I have heard from different colleagues in nonprofit, where fundraising is not their primary role, that they are afraid of getting a NO.
What is one quality every development professional should possess?
Be able to multitask. As a fundraiser, multiple things are thrown at you all the time. Whereas, if you cannot prioritize and have some system of backdating, you will not be in this business very long.
What inspires you about the development profession?
Wow, that is a good question. I believe in the mission of the organization, therefore, I am able to ask for funds from and businesses the community. There are many great things about working for the Boy Scouts of America. Whenever I need to refuel and get energized, I can go on a visit to a scouting unit that is supported by our outreach program. If not for the funds raised for this program, we could not have scouting in areas of our communities that are in need of scouting. Also, the power of donor cultivation inspires me. It is inspirational when I can increase a donor's gift, as much as double or triple, over a 1-2 year time frame by cultivating from different touchpoints.
What is the best advice that you have received related to your career?
I have been very fortunate of surrounding myself with people that are willing to help and genuinely wanting to see me win. I have come across many C-suite executives, and over 90% always ask, “William, how can I help or what else can I do for you?" As you know, never ask a fundraiser that question. Nonetheless, to have CEOs, CFOs, Philanthropists, etcetera, wanting to help you succeed and be the best, is overwhelming and an awesome feeling.