"Render unto Caesar," said the grantee of a social justice organization (thirteen volunteers, one of whom was Judas) when asked about Metrics, "and unto God the things that are God's." What can be measured and managed, surveilled, and turned to Caesar's public and corporate purposes are conscripts, consumers, workers on the aqueduct, wage slaves, tax payers and tax collectors, and gladiators fighting to the death, to see who is best, for the amusment of Patricians. What cannot be meausred is the power of the Widow's mite, and the mustard seed. These trivial gifts, and seeds of change, connected to no materialistic or measurable logic model, are beneath the radar. Let them remain so. For the last shall be first, and the meek shall inhert. And that is not what Caesar's metrics are managing.
In the same vein, at a recent conference, I heard a rising star speak about creating the infrastructure to measure and manage the nonprofit sector. I wanted to ask his Board Scores, Class Rank, and whether or not he was Phi Beta Kappa, to see if he or I was smarter, and by how much, but I refrained. He was clearly smart enough to build a Taxonomy of Nonprofit Excellence, to disrupt, innovate, improve and manage the efforts of those nonprofts that grow to scale and to insure the Darwinian extinction (creative destruction) of those that do not. This will channel the most money to orgs that Do the Most Good. This is the Future of Good Enough.
I said to him, "For some of us the nonprofit world is a refuge from all that." He responded as the smartest graduate of the best schools today would: "Refuge!!!!" I said, "Sanctuary." He said, "Sanctuary????"
Render unto Caesar. And keep low, under the radar, until the wave of activity in the Colosseum, for the amusement of the Patricians runs its course. The next indignity is the Christian Emperor, and the Holy Roman Empire, run like a Corporation, too big to Fail, with a double bottom line, and a huge secret bank. For the time being, as dangerous as the times are for the spirit to move among a few gathered here and there, it is still the best and most productive time. There is no refuge. There is no sanctuary. Nothing to tax, manage or surveille. Nothing is happening here.
National Christian Foundation and idonate.com are partnering doing some very interesting things that should be of interest (as a model) to anyone who cares about small to mid-sized organizations grouped around a central mission. NCF is the hub for sophisticated planned gifts, including gifts like a farm, ranch, S-Corp stock, hard to value assets. They can make those deals happen on behalf of the small church with one good prospect for such gifts. They can hold the proceeds in a donor advised fund for the donor, or perhaps in a fund for the church itself, as an outsourced endowment. Where does indonate come in? That is a powerful tool for telling the story of the individual church online. And it eliticts and processes transactional gifts of noncash assets, such as a car or a cell phone. Then if a big gift surfaces, of say, the farm, the donor is then connected to NCF and a cadre of advisors to handle the gift properly. I attended an idonate presentation at Advisors in Philanthropy's national conference and was mightily impressed. I noticed that others were as well. One man, who is involved with the program I teach (CAP), told me that he is going to sponsor an idonate site for a church he works with. Then, they will turn to him for help on the larger, complex gifts that bubble up. Smart.
I did ask the presenter of idonate if they would work with organizations other than Christian. He said that they would unless the organization was at odds with their conscience or perspective. (Good answer, I think.)
So - where is Tides as hub for progressive orgs? Where is the idonate for the progressive grassroots orgs? How might all this tie in with Hildy Gottlieb and her bottom up grassroots approach to creating the future?
Got home today, after missing a flight last night, and leaving this morning on a 6 am plane. First priority was twelve thank you notes to CAPs who had funded events in Dallas and Tyler, TX, for Bill and Sallie Wallace, now in their eighties, who have funded my Chair in Philanthropy at The American College of Financial Services. At the event the Wallaces spoke of their hopes in funding the chair, that we as advisors and fundraisers would collaborate better to help clients and donors make smarter gifts, in the context of estate and financial planning, and also to experience the satisfaction that Bill and Sallie have gotten from their own giving. In both locales, CAPs gave spontaneous testimonials and thank you's to the Wallaces. One said it was the most important educational experience of his last 25 years. Attorneys spoke of their eyes being opened to the humane side of giving (they actually said, "touchy feely side,") and the impact side. And, yes, the Wallaces both received stetson hats. The mood in the room was love (civic friendship) and gratitude. It has made me think, as I wrote my own thank you's (to the community foundation, the law firm, the financial planning firm, the investment advisors, the insurance professionals, the CPA firm, the philanthropic consulting firm, the foundation, the donor advised fund) who had chipped in for the events, that there is an economy of love and gratitude that can rise up above money and planning and make wealth its servant - that is a moment to hold holy. Without it, life can be so sterile. Try alcohol, or prescriptions for depression, try the adrenaline rush of crushing an opponent, try yoga, but there is nothing that gives peace and joy like being surrounded by and swept up in a circuit of civic friendship where you are personally seen, respected, and held in high esteem for what is best in you.
Then there is the other way around and that can be good too. You can put wealth, and wealth management, and strategies, and competition, and metric and results over love and community and you can see philanthropy as Getting Things Done, as a creature of Pure Reason would and should. That is good too. But for those who have only that, I pray that at least in their family, or house of worship, or in a college reunion, or in a club, that they too participate in the economy of love and gratitude, lest in all that social investing they enter and leave unredeemed from the mind that calculates and dominates with the logic of input and output.
Both are good, the social economy of money and investment as the ultimate metaphor, and the economy of love and gratitude. I try to teach both for a credential whose symbol is a hand holding a heart. "To give is a blessing. To waste money is a sin," to quote a CAP who heads a Jewish Foundation. Still, to see a room full of high powered wealth planning professionals and tax professionals, blissed out by giving and by civic participation - that was a delight. "Love is blind," yes, and if logic were all, humans would long since be extinct. Thanks to blind love we were born. Without blind love who among us would be forgiven?
David Woods, CLU, ChFC, LUTCF, Former President of the LIFE Foundation, Former CEO of NAIFA, in a tribute to Bill and Sallie Wallace, funders of The Wallace Chair in Philanthropy at the American College. He is speaking specifically about their funding the Chair, but beyond that he is speaking in gratitude for Bill Wallace as a role model and mentor.
"Shirtsleeves to shirtsleeves in three generations," so goes a saying in many cultures, from which descends a long skein of thoughts and theories on how to create and preserve Dynastic Family Wealth to the detriment, in my opinion, of our polity, our planet, and the moral sanity of all concerned.
I have been meditating, though, on another saying that traverses many cultures. "When the grandmothers speak the world will be healed." Yet the world has not been healed. Is this because the grandmothers have not spoken, have spoken mostly among themselves, or have spoken in the inner tribal circle, but have not been heard? Or, is it that the men who listen hear only what they want to hear and can turn to their own purposes? And, then, whose responsibility is it that the women's voices be heard and heeded?
Yes, for a man to hear, is for him to be humbled, invaded, possessed. That is how it feels when a man is inspired. He feels taken by a feminine spirit. Made pregnant. I asked a female mentor (she sometimes calls herself a Crone, but I consider her more of a Shaman) if for a woman inspiration comes as a male force which she then assumes. She looked at me sideways, and half nodded. Of course she is a lesbian, so that complicates the analysis. So we bifurcated humans pass each other coming and going, listening mostly to ourselves.
"Tutor," I asked my Mentor in Wealth Bondage, "what is a Great Family?" He said that in his experience, (he was wheezing and choking down his laughter), a Great Family has Four Capitals, Spiritual Capital, Financial Capital, Social Capital, and Political Capital. The Greatest Families like the Rotschilde's, Kennedys, or Cheneys, made wealth serve the Character of the Family, so it would Flourish. Take care of the Spiritual, Social, and Political elements and the wealth will grow. Neglect that and the Great Family will go from shirtsleeves to shirtsleeves in three generations.
"Tutor," I responded, "By shirtsleeves we mean what? You and I do not even have a shirt, let alone trousers!" Tutor helped me to see that 25% of Americans have no shirt, and 25% are in the process of losing their shirts. But Great Families will never suffer such a fate. A great family surives for 7 generations with its wealth doubling every seven years. A Great Family, on the low end, has $100 million to start, but doubling every ten years for seven generations, it will own all of the world's resources, and the rest of us, without any shirt whatsoever, will become loyal retainers, as we were once under feudalism. This is what the World Spirit wants, which is why it is happening so fast.
"Tutor," I responded, "How can we make a buck off this ourselves? As Morals Tutors to America's Wealthiest Families, to help them with their Spiritual Capital, and so to deserve the high esteem in which they are held by their loyal retainers and those they rule?" Sleep like a dog on your Master's bed, was his answer. Works for him, maybe, but I cannot even get into the Palace, not even for the penny tour, since I have no penny. So, I will teach Morals here on Gifthub, and see if maybe I can add a Paypal thing to the sidebar where Great Family members whose morals are improved can make a small donation, on their way to Canterbury to worship at the Shrine of our Lady of all Capitals. What have I got to lose?
So too the convivial, the congenial, the social, must yield its secrets.
Transparency represents systemic coercion that encompasses all social processes and subjects them to profound change. The social system of today exposes all of its processes to compulsory transparency for the purpose of operationalizing and accelerating them.
To Whom it May Concern
Gifthub is an immortal work of art in theMenippean Tradition,written in a Padded Cell (he calls it a Dumpster for obvious reasons) in a state of shock by Phil Cubeta, Morals Tutor to America's Wealthiest Families, under an alias, or alter ego, The Happy Tutor, Dungeon Master to the Stars in Wealth Bondage...... More....
Email Phil Cubeta, Morals Tutor to America's Wealthiest Families.