Make It Personal

Attention-is-the-rarest-and-purest-form-of-generosity.-1I’ll be honest, when I began this journey I didn’t feel much like a generous person. While I recognized generosity as something I valued and I saw how significantly it played into the description of a philanthropist, the word didn’t seem to fit. What was it about this word that was elusive to me? Was it because I attached the definition of generosity with money and the major donors who could give away more than I could? Was it because I equated the word with the selflessness of Mother Theresa, or the commitment of Peace Corp volunteers? Read more…

Thanksgiving Pledge

In a recent article by Bruce DeBoskey he writes of an experience that brings to light the question, Should philanthropy be instinctive or strategic? It’s a question I continually consider in my work, and it’s one that I’ve written quite a bit about. Of course the answer is ‘both, and’. Good philanthropy requires both instinctive and strategic responses, meeting immediate needs for individuals while creating systems change for groups of individuals; and, these responses are most effective when they are embedded within a personal framework for giving that guides your everyday philanthropic actions. Bruce is one of my favorite writers on philanthropy, first for his transparent humility (in this article, for example, admitting that his first reaction is not to help someone in immediate need and admiring his colleague’s ‘instinctive generosity’), and then for his ability to make grand ideas Read more…