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April 2004

Lenore's New Blog

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!

Now, if we could just get Rick Cohen of National Committee on Responsive Philanthropy, or Steve Johnson of TPI, to blog. What a lively time we could have.

Drake Zimmerman

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.

Movement as Network

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

Continue reading "Movement as Network" »


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.

Professionalism in The Gift Trades

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?

Continue reading "Professionalism in The Gift Trades" »