Philanthropy

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Heartfelt Giving Supports Healthy Heart Living

February is National Heart Health Month and the Division of Health and Human Services has a national agenda called Million Hearts™ to prevent a million heart attacks and strokes in the U.S. over the next five years. They want to empower more people to reduce sodium and trans fat intake. Needless to say, this is great news for the physical part of our heart. But what are we doing to enhance the benevolent spirit in our heart? In today’s tumultuous world, what good is a healthy physical heart if the world we live in is ugly, mean-spirited and sick? In our book, Women, Wealth and Giving: The Virtuous Legacy of the Boom Generation, my co-author Niki Nicastro McCuistion and I write [...]

Philanthropy through the Pipeline

Recently something about the name “Pipeline Fellowship” caught my attention as I was surfing the net. Well, in all honesty it brought to mind strains from the 60s Motown hit, “I heard it through the Grapevine.” I guess it was the rhyme of ‘pipeline’ and ‘grapevine’ that caught my musical ear – but that's where I thought any similarity between the two entities would end. Nevertheless, I’m glad my ear, rather than my eye, made me stop and read. For here is where I found out about a remarkable organization that combines the best of three elements: women, philanthropy, and for-profit social ventures. Founder and CEO, Natalia Oberti Noguera, launched the Pipeline Fellowship to activate more women angel investors and create more [...]

New Year, New Resolutions

It’s that time again. With the new year comes new resolutions. I meet women of all ages when I’m traveling across the country presenting my “Three Principles of Abundance” lectures, and one commitment I hear loud and clear, and quite frequently, is their resolve to move from conspicuous consumption and commit to live a life centered around conspicuous compassion. Such an experience helps us get back in touch with the values that shape our thoughts and drive our decisions. A person does not learn conspicuous compassion by doing, but rather by listening and observing – two virtues severely underutilized and too often forgotten in the hustle and bustle of today’s world. The practice of conspicuous compassion is proactive and deliberate [...]

Bookmark: Donor-Centered Planned Gift Marketing

I'm pleased to share some news about my friend and fellow John Wiley & Sons author, Michael J. Rosen. Rosen's book, Donor-Centered Planned Gift Marketing, recently reached the number one planned-giving bestseller spot at Amazon.com! This book "helps nonprofit organizations move beyond traditional marketing techniques that have historically yielded only modest results and reveals how putting the focus on the donor can produce the best outcomes for all." Visit Michael's website to learn more.

By | December 21st, 2011|Categories: Philanthropy|Tags: , , |0 Comments

Ask Margaret: What Color is Your Abundant Heart?

Q: Does your heart follow philosopher Thomas Hobbes?  A: Philosopher Hobbes defined philanthropy as "desire of good to another, benevolence, good will, charity, good nature." Yet despite these words, Hobbes had difficulty thinking anyone who was a philanthropist did so except to "enhance the esteem or 'honor' in which he was held in the community or to promote his own security and power." Q: Perhaps you believe the words of Thomas Browne?  A: Browne, an English physician who is credited with the expression "charity begins at home," believed that charity required both cool-headedness and humility. Q: Do your deeds follow in the footsteps of Andrew Carnegie?  A: Carnegie expressed in his 1889 essay Wealth, which later became known as The Gospel of Wealth, [...]

By | December 15th, 2011|Categories: Philanthropy|Tags: , , , , |0 Comments

Bookmark: Connected: The Surprising Power of Our Social Networks and How They Shape Our Lives

Whether you prefer to connect face-to-face or via Facebook, you're sure to enjoy the bookConnected: The Surprising Power of Our Social Networks and How They Shape Our Lives -- How Your Friends' Friends' Friends Affect Everything You Feel, Think, and Do by Nicholas A. Christakis, MD, PhD and James H. Fowler, PhD. According to research by Christakis and Fowler, your friends and your friends' friends can make you fat -- or thin. Can they also make you a miser or a philanthropist? The authors reveal how our real-life social networks drive and shape virtually every aspect of our lives. Find out how easily we can be influenced by the people we choose to play, party and plot with. Visit Amazon.com to [...]

By | December 8th, 2011|Categories: Philanthropy|Tags: , , , , |0 Comments

Ask Margaret

Q: What, in your opinion and experience, is the most compelling reason that women donate their money? -- Shannon, West Palm Beach  A: There are typically three reasons that compel women to give: 1. Tax benefits -- IRS charitable deductions as permitted on Form 1040. 2. Participation in a program sponsored by the organization; volunteered time and talent to the organization; or a connection to an organization through a friend or family member. 3. A personal experience or a family member's experience with services from the organization; or a strong affinity with the cause or mission. Do you have a question about women and philanthropy, wealth management or planned giving? E-mail Margaret at mm@margaret-may.com. Your question might be featured in an upcoming [...]

Bookmark: Encore: Finding Work That Matters in the Second Half of Life

Each month, Margaret features a person, place or favorite thing that inspires her, with the hope that it will inspire you, too. Golf is great, but an "Encore Career" may bring more satisfaction and yes, perhaps even happiness to a generation of boomers who find themselves getting in the mood to take up Peggy Lee's mantra, "Keep on dancing...if that's all there is..." And that dancing is leading them right off the dance floor and directly into the freedom to do some fancy footwork in an "Encore Career." Marc Freedman's book, Encore: Finding Work That Matters in the Second Half of Life, tells the stories of men and women moving beyond their midlife careers into a new phase of work. This [...]

By | November 22nd, 2011|Categories: Philanthropy|Tags: , , , |0 Comments

Ask Margaret

Q: A recent article, “Two-Thirds of Donors Plan to Cut Back on Giving This Fall,” appeared in The Chronicle of Philanthropy. If such is the case, what can charities do to be proactive? A: Continue to subscribe to the KISS principle. The media, especially 24/7 TV and talk radio, has many smart, educated and normally happy people running around like Chicken Little believing “The sky is falling.” Is saying it's so making it happen? Are we wishing ourselves more doom and gloom than necessary? OK, what does all this have to do with keeping donors on the books and happy, and perhaps even increasing their year-end contributions? Here are three KISS ideas: 1) Say “thank you,” 2) Say “thank you” again [...]

Is the Phoenix Rising in Philanthropy?

Perhaps, all the chaos and uncertainly in the world is the perfect nesting place from which the mythical, sacred fire bird is about to be reborn to reignite the flame of compassion, goodwill and benevolence in the human heart. In Greek mythology, Herodotus tells of the bird’s unique ability to be consumed by fire and reborn from the ashes. Throughout the ages, the colorful and stately phoenix’s appearance has been depicted as a sign of a coming age of prosperity and greatness for people and of nations. Recently, I’ve been pondering, in what personification the phoenix might rise, if indeed I allow myself the luxury to indulge in a mystical and meditative moment or two, as the frantic milieu of [...]

Philanthropic Therapy: Can Meaning and Money Mix?

Recently, I had the occasion to speak at the national Financial Planning Association (FPA) Conference in San Diego. One of the benefits of participating in such a venue is the joy of hearing the best of the best thought leaders in the financial planning profession. Once again, I was rewarded with an “aha moment” as I experienced George Kinder’s life planning and financial coaching session. The Kinder Institute of Life Planning takes a holistic approach when designing a wealth holder’s financial plan. Holistic to the point that one of the Institute’s participants, CFP Rick Kahler, in Rapid City, South Dakota, is a leading proponent and co-founder of the Healing Money Issues Program. Kahler and his colleagues at the Financial Therapy [...]

Is the Little Engine that Can Coming over the Mountain?

No it’s not a misprint. Yes, I am referring to a favorite children’s book of mine, “The Little Engine that Could,” written by Watty Piper, the pen name of Arnold Munk. There are several versions of the story, but the underlying theme is the locomotive on the train caring the toys breaks down as it begins its climb over the mountain. Several engines more mighty and powerful refuse to help, and finally the little engine, not nearly as mighty, appears, and against all odds becomes the heroine of the day, pulls the train over the mountain, all the while chanting “I think, I can—I think, I can." Yes, the heroine saves the day. And while not overtly using personification, the [...]

By | October 26th, 2011|Categories: Philanthropy|Tags: , |0 Comments

Bookmark: Warren Buffett Invests Like a Girl – And Why You Should, Too

I seldom splurge on books at the airport. There’s enough reading material in my carryon for the entire flight and more… but, the title caught my eye. I couldn’t resist finding out how “Warren Buffett Invests Like a Girl: And Why You Should, Too.” Hmm, I thought, is this the real Midwest secret to success or just plain common sense? Turns out, it’s a bit of both. Author Louann Lofton offers the reader both the statistical and anecdotal evidence that women’s admirable qualities such as collaboration, commitment, nurturing, and inquisitive temperament are the perfect ingredients for a winning investment strategy. The reader not only gets insight into how Buffett parlayed his meager investments, starting when he was a teenager, into [...]

By | October 26th, 2011|Categories: Philanthropy|Tags: , , |0 Comments

Philanthropist Jane Addams’ legend lives on through Nobel recipients

In the 110-year history of the Nobel Peace Prize, only 12 women have been honored for their courageous leadership in the struggle for women’s rights. Among them is peace activist and philanthropist, Jane Addams, Mother Teresa, and Wangari Maathai. On Oct. 7, history was again made when Thorbjorn Jagland, the head of the Nobel committee, announced that three influential women from Africa and the Middle East were jointly awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for 2011. Two of the winners were from Liberia: President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, the first elected female president in post-colonial Africa, and the peace activist Leymah Gbowee. Tawakkol Karman, a prominent female figure in Yemen’s populist uprising this year, was honored for her work to establish a [...]

If Money Can’t Buy Happiness, Perhaps Philanthropy Can!

I’ve been reading a lot about happiness these days. Well, more about how we are all unhappy and searching far and wide for our personal wellbeing. Aristotle calls it Eudemonia – wellbeing of the soul; Buddhism refers to it a Nirvana – spiritual enlightenment. As the song laments, “Money makes the world go round,” but what about our happiness, wellbeing and enlightenment? It seems the current economy reflects the fact that conspicuous consumption is fading into the sunset as more and more men and women search the horizon for the vibrant hue of conspicuous compassion in their life and work. Could it be that we are on the cusp of a transformative moment in history? And if so, can philanthropy [...]

By | September 19th, 2011|Categories: Philanthropy|Tags: , , |0 Comments

Five Ways Women Philanthropists “Speak Female”

In a recent workshop in Tampa for the Partnership for Philanthropic Planning, I presented my research on how to “Speak Female” and the impact it has to engage women to excel in their philanthropy. Women as philanthropists are no longer a niche market – it is THE market for philanthropy. To “Speak Female” is to be a role model for the next generation. Philanthropy is congruent with women’s goals and aspirations to make a difference in society. Women believe that the philanthropic platform serves as a voice to “Speak Female” and reshape the ethics and morals in our society and reset the compass due north for the next generation. To “Speak Female” is to be: 1) Empowered with the ability [...]

By | September 12th, 2011|Categories: Philanthropy|Tags: , , , |0 Comments

The Virtues of Passion in Changing Times

“It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness…” A Tale of Two Cities, Charles Dickens Gridlock in Washington, riots in London… has Charles Dickens’ epic novel A Tale of Two Cities become more fact than fiction some 152 years since it was first published? And what does all this have to do with philanthropy (the third sector)? From my perspective, quite a lot. If one believes as I do, the sage wisdom of the late Robert Payton, former director of the Center on Philanthropy at Indiana University, philanthropy holds some of the answers to moving our nation forward in these ‘best and worst of times.’ “The only [...]

By | August 16th, 2011|Categories: Philanthropy|Tags: |0 Comments

Philanthropy: Big, Bold and Beautiful Giving

“To give away money is an easy matter and in anyone’s power.  But to decide whom to give it and how large and when, and for what purpose and how, is neither in every person’s power- nor an easy matter. Hence it is that such excellence is rare, praiseworthy and noble.”  – Aristotle  “Big, Bold, Beautiful” are the three new B’s in philanthropy. And one can participate in many ways. The rich and famous, such as Paul Allen, Bill and Melinda Gates, Warren Buffet and David Rockefeller (and the rich and soon-to-be famous for their generosity) are getting on board through “The Giving Pledge.” It’s a moral commitment to give the majority of their wealth to the philanthropic causes and charitable [...]

By | July 20th, 2011|Categories: Philanthropy|Tags: , , , |0 Comments

Volunteers: worth their weight in gold

By Guest Blogger Kelly Bruce Beard  The beautiful thing about philanthropy is that it comes in all shapes and sizes. You don't have to be a multimillion dollar donor to make a big impact. Your community, or organization of choice, will be forever grateful if you volunteer your time or talent - which are "treasures" in and of themselves. I had to chuckle to myself during a recent volunteer project when an older woman standing next to me said to the group, "How did we get someone under 20 to volunteer?" Being the youngest in the room, I knew she was referring to me - and was quite flattered she thought I was under 20! (That new face cream must be [...]

By | July 15th, 2011|Categories: Philanthropy|Tags: |0 Comments

Empowerment, Part 2

Empowerment is visioning. It is taking responsibility for your actions and controlling your future. Empowerment allows you to draw on your knowledge, combine it with your experience and your values, and act from an internal locus of motivation, acting with strength and taking initiative. It traditionally has not been the strength of women, who too often turned over their power to others. As activist Petra Kelly reminds us, "We must work from our own values and elevate their influence to those of men. There is a saying, 'where power is, women are not.' Women must be willing to be powerful. Because we bear scars from the ways men have used their power... women often want no part of power." We [...]