Each month, Margaret May features a person, place or favorite thing that inspires her, with the hope that it will inspire you, too.
Bookmark: Everyone Wants Your Money: Helping You Navigate Through Philanthropy by Dr. Gray Keller
Bookmark: Everyone Wants Your Money: Helping You Navigate Through Philanthropy by Dr. Gray Keller From the title, you may expect the message in this book to be most appropriate for donors. And while that may be Dr. Gray Keller's intent, I believe his wisdom, practical advice and stories speak directly to the heart of every development and fundraising professional. Dr. Keller is a philosopher, poet, and philanthropist with degrees in philosophy, theology and leadership. His trifecta of experiences challenge both donors and gift planners to reflect on who we are, what we do, why we do it, and how to be a strategic philanthropic leader. "As a philanthropic leader," writes Keller, "You will have to decide to give in [...]
Bookmark: Give and Take: A Revolutionary Approach to Success by Adam Grant
Bookmark: Give and Take: A Revolutionary Approach to Success by Adam Grant There are three types of people: givers, takers and matchers -- each with their own impact on success. Author Adam Grant's research reveals some surprising results. "There is something distinctive that happens when givers succeed -- it spreads and cascades," according to Grant. "Givers succeed in a way that creates a ripple effect, enhancing the success of people around them." This is good news for nonprofit and corporate executives who, more and more, rely on collaboration and team initiatives to solve problems and create value for their donors and clients. The author makes the case that giver values, such as helpfulness, responsibility, social justice, and compassion have [...]
Bookmark: The Female Vision by Sally Helgesen and Julie Johnson
Bookmark: The Female Vision by Sally Helgesen and Julie Johnson There seems to be a plethora of books about the positive virtues of seeing and interpreting the current state-of-the-world from a women's point of view. The authors recognize that we are approaching a tipping point of a change of leadership style in all three sectors of society -- corporate, government and nonprofit (sometimes referred to as the third sector). If one believes, as I and many of my colleagues do, that society's moral compass no longer points due north, the principles set forth in this book provide a road map to get us back on course. In fact, one of the three principles, "Women's tendency to analyze information in [...]
Bookmark: The Athena Doctrine: How Women (and the Men Who Think Like Them) Will Rule the Future by John Gerzema and Michael D’ Antonio
Bookmark: The Athena Doctrine: How Women (and the Men Who Think Like Them) Will Rule the Future by John Gerzema and Michael D' Antonio Good news awaits the reader of the extraordinary and inspiring stories in The Athena Doctrine by John Gerzema and Michael D' Antonio. The authors describe women and men who lead innovative organizations with the skills, values, and attributes usually associated with women. The results of quantitative research compiled from 64,000 people surveyed in 13 nations provide conclusive evidence why collaboration, empathy, and listening qualities are what the world needs now. In a time when interdependence and transparency rank high as qualities necessary for success, the attributes of a "zero-sum game" leadership style is no longer [...]
Bookmark: Beyond Religion: Ethics for a Whole World, by His Holiness The Dalai Lama XIV
Bookmark: Beyond Religion: Ethics for a Whole World, by His Holiness The Dalai Lama XIV There is a season for every book and this is the season to read Beyond Religion: Ethics for a Whole World. For those of us who believe we are passing through the economic, political and social "winter of our discontent," the Dalai Lama's message gives us hope for a common humanity based on actively practicing the "positive inner qualities of the human heart that arise from our core disposition toward compassion, and learning to combat our more destructive propensities." This is a guidebook to help each of us come to understand the importance of knowing and practicing our ethical awareness and inner values in a [...]
Bookmark: The Gospel of Wealth by Andrew Carnegie
Bookmark: The Gospel of Wealth by Andrew Carnegie Andrew Carnegie's The Gospel of Wealth was originally published in the North American Review in June 1889, and again by Applewood Books, Inc., of Bedford, Mass. in 1998. "The man who dies thus rich dies disgraced," concludes Andrew Carnegie at the end of Part I of his timeless and poignant essay. This is a must read not only for every donor, development officer and fundraiser, but also for every politician, estate attorney and wealth advisor. Carnegie, a man whose riches were the product of our nation's capitalist principles, defends his position not unlike the modern day manifesto of billionaires Bill Gates and Warren Buffett, to give away a major portion of [...]
Margaret welcomes thoughtful responses and additional questions from readers. E-mail Margaret.
Q: What are some of the organizations that currently evaluate nonprofit organizations and charities? A: Charity Navigator, www.charitynavigator.org; theAmerican Institute of Philanthropy, (Charity Watch) www.charitywatch.org; BBB Wise Giving Alliance, www.bbb.org/us/wise-giving and GuideStar, www.Guidestar.org are all excellent resources.
Q: Who described charity as a hallmark and an engine of American democracy? A: Alexis de Tocqueville described charity as a hallmark and engine of American democracy in his book, "Democracy in America," written in 1835. "There is nothing, in my opinion, that merits attention more than the intellectual and moral associations of America."
Q: It is true that "tax-savings" is the number one reason why people donate money to charity? A: No, absolutely not true. Extensive research has proven that people are first motivated to donate to causes that they believe will make an impact on specific issues or organizations that are meaningful in the donor's life and express the values by which the donor lives.
Q: Can you recommend a charitable "primer" for children? A: Raising Charitable Children by Carol Weisman is one of the most entertaining and informative "primer" books that includes practical ideas to engage children in activities that are both rewarding to the recipient and the giver. This short guide (125 pages) packs a lot of easy-to-read, down-to-earth and humorous stories of how to create and enjoy meaningful experiences for the entire family while making a difference. At the same time, these experiences teach children and grandchildren what being charitable is all about.
Q: What is an ethical will? A: An ethical will is a formal but non-legal document in which the writer shares beliefs and values from past and present experiences and offers their hopes and wisdom for the future to their loved ones and family members. According to Barry K. Baines, MD, author of Ethical Wills: Putting your Values on Paper, the origin of the ethical will dates back to biblical times. Baines says, "Legal wills bequeath valuables, while ethical wills bequeath values."
Q: How do you prepare children to manage money and become knowledgeable about philanthropy? A: Charles W. Collier, senior philanthropic advisor at Harvard University (retired), gives four examples in his second edition of Wealth in Families (ISBN 0-9786345-0-0). Set a good example Provide consistent guidance Allow them to make mistakes Consider the use of mentors