talkin bout legacy
May 27, 2013

everything the donating public has been taught about giving is dysfunctional, says AIDS Ride founder Dan Pallotta.

now, i’m not willing to go as far as “everything,” but i do agree there’s a lot of dysfunction in the way we think about and do philanthropy.

i implore all of us committed to philanthropy to participate in the process of taking a hard look at the thinking and perspectives that have been handed down to us and undertake some serious revising– and reinventing, if necessary. the goal is to pass on a better legacy, one that is more functional and builds in the process of evaluation and change necessary for any dynamic enterprise to be successful.

we could start the discussion right here. or we can gather elsewhere, in person or via the web.

who wants to join me?

you, me + legacy: 3 pillars of giving
March 31, 2013

here’s a simple idea to begin mindful giving. it became clear to me through a conversation with my friend and fellow philanthropy maven, arlene that started on our drive to the beach and was still going on during the ride home two days later. it  borrows from the model of managing one’s  money (i learned it as a formula for what to do with money i receive as a windfall):  a third in savings, a third to pay off debt (if no debt-towards a major purchase), a third to spend in the present.

these are the three pillars of giving:  a third to the most urgent causes in your community (or globally), a third to causes you care about, a third to invest in a legacy.

the first two thirds are straight forward. they give you the opportunity to support both what is personal to you and to remove your ego from the equation, to give selflessly acknowledging yourself as merely a vessel for contributing to the greater good.

the goal of the final third, legacy, is to seed the future of philanthropy. if you have children you might use the final third of your donation funds to engage your children in choosing where and how much to distribute. If you have no children you might create a managed fund that annually supports both your choice of organization(s) and the current  pressing needs of society once you die. You might also support  one of the  youth philanthropy organization that teach teens philanthropy through practice making choices and donating as a group.

give: dictionary definitions
February 14, 2012

these definitions of give are courtesy of dictionary.com, and i think they’re worth considering in terms of the ways we think about and like to give:

to present voluntarily and without expecting compensation; bestow

to hand to someone.

to place in someone’s care.

to grant (permission, opportunity, etc.) to someone

to impart or communicate: to give advice

to yield somewhat

to collapse

offer, vouchsafe, impart, accord, furnish, provide, supply, donate, contribute, give, confer, grant, present

Give is the general word: to give someone a book, permission, etc.

Confer usually means to give an honor or a favor; it implies courteous and gracious giving: to confer a degree.

Grant is limited to the idea of acceding to a request; it may apply to the bestowal of privileges, or the fulfillment of an expressed wish: to grant a charter, a prayer, permission, etc

Present, a more formal word than give, usually implies a certain ceremony in the giving: to present a citation to a regiment.