Mary Kearns on the new ethic - support the movement, build the network, not the brand.
Good news for the conversation about philanthropy. Lenore Ealy, of The Philanthropic Enterprise, now has a blog. Hope others in her network of conservative or libertarian academics, thinkers, givers and theorists will follow suit. In blogs you just can't talk ex cathedra, or walk off in a huff, when your dignity is challenged. There are so many insubordinate questions that need to be asked about money in our society, altruism, intellect, governance, freedom and liberty, about who pays for what how, and at what cost, personal, social and spiritual. Welcome to Bloggerville, Lenore!
Klog Apart: Grassroots journalism, meet grassroots fundraising. It took 1 form and about 5 minutes. Now I'm on my way to raising $10,000 for John Kerry by inviting other bloggers to join my Citizen Journalists Kerry 100 Club: 100 people at $100 each.
Yule Heibel (via comment from BMO) While Open Door is doing backflips to meet the needs of the homeless, whose numbers are swelling, the Conservatory decided to build a fence to keep "undesirables" out.
I have had two long conversations by phone with Drake Zimmerman who has signed up for the Open Space Giving Conference in Chicago in July. Drake's firm, in Normal, Illinois, manages nearly $100 million of his client's money. With an MA in languages, along with a long list of financial, legal, and estate planning credentials, Drake sees his role as that of a "translator," who connects people's money with their meaning. Drake prefers to work with clients whose values he shares, and that includes a commitment to giving. We can all give, Drake believes, in ways big or small. By planning our finances in light of our ideals, we can a bigger difference more effectively, while meeting our many other obligations.
Active Citizen Marty Kearns points to an interesting white paper, "Movement as Network," by Gideon Rosenblatt. A movement, on Rosenblatt's, view has three kinds of constituent organizations, linked loosely and working together, so the sum is more than the parts.
1. People-oriented groups, small or large, serving a particular constituency
2. Solution-oriented groups, outlining a problem and pushing a particular solution
3. Resource-oriented groups, that provide essential elements of the infrastructure needed by the movement
Is gift planning a profession affected with the public trust? Do we represent not only the donor, with his or her vision and values, but also the public interest? Let me give an example, for the sake of discussion. The example is, let's say, hypothetical.
Thanks to Michael Herman at globalchicago, we now have a wiki for the Open Space Giving Conference. Consult the wiki for information on registration, confirmed attendance, hotels, directions and logistics. After the conference we will post the proceedings on the wiki and I will do "color commentary" here in the hopes of stirring up an on-going conversation, while tracking the success of projects scoped out at the conference.
Michael, who will be our facilitator at the conference, has not been paid one dime. Yet he has volunteered countless hours. Giving.... He has also been a great editor/consultant in getting Gifthub going.
K! says to Jeneane, in her comment section, that Gifthub is a Mexican Phone Store. How right he is. We are waiting here among the potatoes, beer, and check cashing services for Peter's Karoff's "Long Distance Call" to come through.
What do you think? Can we in the gift trades liken ourselves to doctors who treat patients whose politics or morals they find repugnant? Can we liken ourselves to public defenders who make a good case, even for those they know to be quilty? Can we liken ourselves to professional "voices" who write tripe for whatever party or power pays them? Is gift planning a profession, then, a job the essence of which is "rising above" controversy, of meeting each client on his or her own ground? Is it a matter of celebrating all gifts, on all sides of every rift? Or, is that the kind of professionalism we associate with those who walk the streets, peddling a simulacrum of love? Can we separate ourselves - must we? - from the causes we espouse?