Philanthropy

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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 [...]

Empowerment, Part 1

All life is an expression of a single spiritual unity. We can no longer afford false divisions between work and community, between ethics and economics. But how can we change from a system which values endless increasing profit and materialism, to one in which the core values are community, caring for the environment, creating, and growing things and personal development? The answer: We empower people. ~ Dame Anita Roddick (1942-2007) Give yourself power Empowerment is something you give yourself, not something you get from someone else. And it is not a zero-sum process, where one person's gain is balanced by another person's loss. Rather, it is the dynamism and intensity that a woman uses to bring focus and clarity to [...]

By | July 1st, 2011|Categories: Philanthropy|Tags: , |0 Comments

Leaders from the Nonprofit Sector Commit to Grow Philanthropy in USA

Charleston, S.C (July 19, 2011) – Thirty-six of the leading U.S.-philanthropy experts, including nonprofit leaders, technology suppliers and consultants, and associations, recently gathered to discuss how the nonprofit sector can work together to grow the level of individual giving by Americans. The Growing Philanthropy Summit, held last month in Washington D.C., was sponsored by Blackbaud, Inc. and Hartsook Companies and was hosted by The Center on Philanthropy at Indiana University. “We believe it is possible to significantly grow the level of individual philanthropy in the United States,” said Adrian Sargeant, professor of fundraising. “While over $290 billion dollars was given to good causes in 2010, individual donors are no more generous now than when data was first collected some 40 [...]

By | June 23rd, 2011|Categories: Philanthropy|0 Comments

Margaret May Damen earns Chartered Advisor in Philanthropy designation

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla., June 6, 2011 – Margaret May Damen, CFP, CLU, ChFC, president of the Institute for Women and Wealth, recently earned the Chartered Advisor in Philanthropy® (CAP®) professional designation from the Richard D. Irwin Graduate School of the American College in Bryn Mawr, Pa. Damen is co-author of “Women, Wealth and Giving: The Virtuous Legacy of the Boom Generation,” published by John Wiley & Son, NY in 2009. She is also the planned giving director for the United Way of Martin County Foundation and planned giving and endowment officer for the Kravis Center for the Performing Arts in West Palm Beach. Damen is a local board member for the Palm Beach County Planned Giving Council and a national [...]

By | June 6th, 2011|Categories: Philanthropy|0 Comments

Only if we help shall all be saved

“Only if we understand can we care. Only if we care will we help. Only if we help shall all be saved.”  -- Dr. Jane Goodall  Stephen G. Post and Margaret May In Chicago last month, at the Advisors in Philanthropy Conference (AiP), I met and talked with Stephen G. Post, author of The Hidden Gifts of Helping. Post is professor of preventive medicine and director of the Center for Medical Humanities, Compassionate Care and Bioethics at Stony Brook University. He is also president of the Institute for Research on Unlimited Love. I wanted to meet Post to find out more about the institute and to seek out collaboration of my hypothesis that “eudaimonia” (the ancient Greek word for “well-being”) is the ultimate [...]

By | May 20th, 2011|Categories: Philanthropy|0 Comments

Cultural Arts: Silence is Not Golden

In the 21st century, silence is not golden when it comes to the cultural arts heritage of America. One could say, “Silence is death,” to the Philadelphia Orchestra, the Syracuse Symphony and The New York Opera, if what I read is correct in the April 29 edition of the Wall Street Journal. I picked up a copy while traveling this week between speaking in Chicago at the Advisors in Philanthropy (AiP) conference, and attending the Partnership for Philanthropic Planning (PPP) board meeting. If this trend of silent concert halls and dark theater stages continues, we all would be wise to look in our communities to learn of the health and wealth of our beloved cultural organizations. And not only our cultural [...]

By | May 3rd, 2011|Categories: Philanthropy|0 Comments

Who am I? Really!

Statistics tell us that a baby boomer will turn 55 years old every seven seconds for the next 20 years. The psychologist Carl Jung notes that later in life, individuals have the opportunity to look deeper into themselves and recover renewed vitality and zest. Syndicated columnist Ellen Goodman cites Al Gore as the “poster child” for what author Marc Freedman calls an “Encore Career.” In my book “Women Wealth and Giving: The Virtuous Legacy of the Boom Generation,” I write about the Three Principles of Abundance, one of which is to find ways to answer the question “Who Am I?” Finding part of the answer implies you have freedom and desire to get in touch with your human spirit and [...]

By | April 22nd, 2011|Categories: Philanthropy|0 Comments

Would the government shut down if women were in charge?

I have been perplexed these days by the inability of our nation’s leaders to compromise for the greater good. No, this is not a political article or a "He vs. She" commentary. You know the old saying, “He said that she said that he had...” That’s what the sound bytes remind me of when I listen to current political rhetoric. Sounds to me like all 'ego talking' and no 'heart listening.' From my point of view, when it comes to playing King of the Mountain in Washington there is no doubt the testosterone levels are off the charts. What has happened to collaboration, to compassion, to reason? This is not "Monday Morning Quarterbacking." Some plain common sense would be nice [...]

By | April 8th, 2011|Categories: Philanthropy|0 Comments

Community and Social Capital, continued…

Intellectual and moral associations provide the venue for women to gather as the season arrives for them to lead the compassionate resolution of their consciousness revolution. Their ability to optimize the practical application of the “six degrees of separation” theory allows them to reach out and build the network necessary for collaboration and communication of their message to a chosen destination. It is both the independence and the interdependency of this vibrant and dense social capital that fosters “a radius of trust,” a term attributed to economist Lawrence Harrison, currently Senior Research Fellow and Adjunct Lecturer at the Fletcher School at Tufts University. And as each social capital association extends its matrix through bridging social capital networks to embrace another [...]

By | February 28th, 2011|Categories: Philanthropy|0 Comments

Community

When women choose to invest their energy and leadership capacity in virtuous philanthropy, they envision an energetic, diverse and vibrant community of which they are a part. This means the human community of relationships, not cold steel buildings. In 1910, suffragist Rheta Childe Dorr proclaimed, “Women’s place is in the home, but home is not contained within the four walls of an individual home. Home is the Community.” The modern thinking, planning, self-governing, educated woman came into a world that is losing faith in the commercial ideal, and is endeavoring to substitute in its place a social ideal. One hundred years later, community is still home. It is the sanctuary for women, sensitive to the nuances of eclectic and nontraditional [...]

By | February 24th, 2011|Categories: Philanthropy|0 Comments