side benefits
November 16, 2013

one of the side benefits to launching a crowd source funding campaign is the unexpected. i’ve connected with a Portuguese film maker interested in related subject matter who is also running a campaign and my high school art history teacher who i haven’t seen or heard from in over 30 years.

another benefit is that by gaining personal experience using this model i’m improving my chance of gaining exposure on blogs or at conferences as some one with expertise in this area.

it’s also given me a reason to reach out to certain people i admire and make a more personal connection.

and speaking of connection, because the fundraising requires me to be on social media sites more often than usual, i’ve enjoyed reconnecting with old friends via IM as well as getting to participate in some online events that i might not have known about otherwise and were beneficial.

my point: philanthropy often comes with side benefits, and there’s nothing inherently wrong with that.

the problem:  when side benefits are the expectation and/or the main motivation for giving or soliciting.

redux plus
October 13, 2013

attending the dan pallotta talk was like hearing his TED talk live with additional icing on the cake in the form of a lot more statistics. that’s how it felt. it was good to review the points he makes. they still make sense. he’s a very professional speaker, but he seemed weary. and he was peddling his books, uncharitable and the new charity case.

i was reminded of the the sobering facts that charity is a measly 2% of the GDP (gross domestic product) and of that 2% only 20% of it goes to health and human services. this seems a gross failing of our priorities and values as a people and a country. the question is why?

pallotta’s answer is to let philanthropy use the methods and tactics that make capitalism successful, to shift old ways of thinking about non-profits such as, overhead steals from the cause  and the moral superiority of using less to fundraise to capitalist thinking such as, incentivizing success and using marketing and advertising to increase the market demand for more philanthropy.

i don’t know if this, “using what works” from capitalism is the right fix. but i do know that the most important statement pallotta made was this, when you don’t permit failure you kill innovation. its time we permit ourselves as donors and givers and our non-profits to try new ways of achieving philanthropy with permission not to get it right all the time.

giving & getting apartheid
July 16, 2013

in his provocative TED talk, dan pallotta claims there’s an apartheid system between business and non-profits —separate rule books.  he encapsulates his perspective through 5 areas of discrimination:

*Compensation— how much $ professionals in the field earn
*Advertising & Marketing — how much of our donations/investment we consider reasonable for an organization to spend on these
*Risk in Pursuit of Revenue— our tolerance for/support of  taking risks with our donations/investments that include failure in the pursuit best practices
*Time— our tolerance for donating/investing over time without success (pallotta points out it took Amazon 6 yrs until it turned a profit, but investors stuck it out)
*Profits — providing a stock market, a mechanism to reward donors/investors on a significant and meaningful level

i will post about each of these individually. anyone want to request which one to start with?

February 26, 2012

lately i’ve noticed the current consumer allure is the free gift; we get one either just for showing up at a retail store  on a certain day and/or we get one as the incentive if we buy something that day. the main enticement to purchase used to be the attraction of something new, then on sale, but even that often isn’t  enough anymore. we expect to get something “extra” from the people making money from us. in other words, these days they have to give us something to get us to buy something– like the banks in the old days that gave us a toaster if we opened up an account with them.

wondering what this has to do with mindful giving?


as you expect, so shall you give; true or false?