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…

it's just pie

This problem of getting money to the right people, at the right time and under the right circumstances, continues to haunt me. With years of experience as a fund-raiser and a grant-maker, I am continually perplexed at how difficult it can be to get money into the hands of those doing the work. More frustrating to watch is what a struggle it is for agencies doing good work to get the money they need to operate successfully without stress and anxiety about how to keep the programs running next year, how to adequately compensate fabulous staff members and how to grow awareness of the issues they tackle day in and day out. The work is infinite, the pot of money is finite, and may the best pitch/proposal/auction win. This resource scarcity doesn’t support the work effectively and I find myself Read more…