Reynold Levy has been president of the Lincoln Center since 2002. Prior to being selected for this role, he was president of the International Rescue Committee, an international aid organization, for five years; and head of the AT&T Foundation for 12 years. A graduate of Hobart College, he holds a law degree from Columbia University and a Ph.D in government and foreign affairs from the University of Virginia. He lives in New York City.
Question: What impression should fund-raising be attempting to make on donors?
Reynold Levy: You want the donor to feel that their gift will make something happen that would otherwise not happen or make it happen better or make it reach people that would otherwise not be able to be reached. I tell donors all the time that I can guarantee them three things. A gift to Lincoln Center will insure a better night’s sleep, will allow them to live longer and will create an unobstructed pathway to heaven. That’s what giving to Lincoln Center does.
And if it provides those three benefits, how could we refuse anyone that opportunity? So, we try to reach anyone who we care about enough to offer those three benefits.