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October 2006

Brandintel Buzz Marketing

Brandintel showed up in the referral logs of Gifthub, so I checked them out:

As the industry leader for actionable market insight, BrandIntel translates online consumer-published content into reliable intelligence and analysis — enabling the world’s top companies to advance the science of their decision-making. Our highly-customizable solutions and information-delivery platform  combine human intelligence with award-winning technology to provide the most trusted data in the industry.

BrandIntel’s quality and innovation is helping to redefine how companies research, market and  manage their brands, as well as how they engage with customers.  With BrandIntel, companies identify, listen to, learn from and influence the Internet communities and conversations relevant to their enterprise. Through our specialized expertise, our clients are able to inform and validate critical business decisions, identify new opportunities and get closer to their  customers — to increase mindshare and market share, improve customer loyalty and achieve or  maintain market leadership.

By delivering high quality, client-centric solutions, BrandIntel has achieved results for a wide   variety of premium brands, including those in the automotive, capital markets, consumer packaged goods, consumer electronics,   entertainment, gaming, healthcare ,   hospitality, investment, and   pharmaceutical industries.

The Happy Tutor is bullish on Brandintel. I can see why. Any premium brand will want to "listen to, learn from and influence the Internet communities and conversations relevant to their enterprise." Wealth Bondage is no exception.

Thanksgiving 365

Top 10 Sources:

The following ten sources offer some great information about philanthropy, helpful tips on charitable giving, and creative ways to volunteer. In the spirit of the season, we offer these blogs, podcasts, and websites for you to explore what others are doing to better the world and to learn how to get involved. Happy Feasting!

I'm flattered to be included; I wonder if it will drive much traffic. I also wonder about the eventual business model. Does the content flowing from here to Top 10 as a gift then get packaged in some way at some point with ads, or for a subscription? How does Halley Suitt et. al. make this into a self-sustaining social venture with a double bottom line - one for them, one for society and none for me? Web 2.0 is wonderful. 

Madmunk on Philanthropic Legitimacy

Madmunk is back. Here is a nugget from his rousing post on Frumkin's new book on philanthropy and the discussion of that book at Hudson.

Every grant is a new social contract, and I hope that given the choice between creating a strategy and creating a community, donors will opt for creating community by inviting them to participate in their strategic giving. That way, philanthropic legitimacy has a better chance of being assured....

What social contract, then, binds Hudson Institute, for example, to the Commonweal?  I guess in a real world polity, the idea is to set the knaves, funded with philanthropic dollars, against one another in the hope that out of such tumult comes stalemate, if nothing worse.  On that basis, I can see contributing to the New Progressive Coalition or  Democracy Alliance.  What seems missing from the logic model legitimizing Think Tanks as an institution is not the funding of Frick and the funding of Frack by warring wealthy people and corporations, but the lack of representation of (as Bush calls them) the "non-rich" in the creation, funding, and promulgation of think-tank generated political ideology.  Without a broader range of support, I would think we might well conclude that the very existence of Think Tanks paid for by the rich of either party is a throbbing carbuncle on the proud face of Lady Liberty, an abscess that must be excised, by a knife that cuts deep, not to wound but to cure. Surely, someone will fund the Satirist? I would hate to think we would have to work pro bono publico out of a Dumpster behind The Bradley Center for Philanthropy and Civic Renewal, for crying out loud. You want to renew civil society? Turn out the hacks and let them write for nothing.  If they have something to say, of importance to them or the polity, let them get a real job in some corporate cubicle, and blog in the evenings like a self-respecting citizen.  But if you took away the funding, you know darn well they wouldn't write this stuff for pleasure. It must cost them their very soul. Why would they do it for love of the work, or love of their country? So the dollars and nonsense flow on both sides. What legitimizes it? Ten dollars a word.

Playing Possum

030212_masquerade_ball_6 In this rambling post, apparently on extinction, and strategies for survival, Mr. Ray Davis must have me confused with someone else:

A scavenger of garbage, a hisser, a sulker, urbanized but un-urbanable.

I, Sir, am a respectable Counselor to The Ultra's (Ultra High Net Worth Individuals), possessors of Dynastic Wealth, strutters of Family Values, Investors for Political, Social, and Personal Return, the managers of not one but two bottom-lines per dollar invested, and treaders down of inferior species. There will be no patronage for you, Mr. Davis.  That is the bottom-line, twice over.  Now beat it; you are queering my action. As you say, once caught poor Possum will be carved to the heart. But in the meantime, I am teaching Milady the Fox Trot. 

The Democracy Alliance

Big $$$ for Progressive Politics, from the Nation.

The same topics that are off-limits in the Democratic Party--US policy on Israel, the bloated military budget, the role of big money in both parties, the grip of corporations--are shunned by the Alliance.

Interesting to see in the article that Drummond Pike of Tides was elected to the Board. I would hope he will push for something a bit more democratic than this putative alliance for democracy funded by fat cats.  A take on Democracy Alliance here from Martin Kearns (one very smart and dedicated man) at Network Centric Advocacy.

Strategic Giving in Vanity Fair

Very interesting discussion at Hudson of Peter Frumkin's Strategic Giving.  What, I found myself asking as I read the transcript, are the disciplines, or practices, or "life worlds" that would ideally be convened around a topic like strategic giving? Bill Schambra, himself a PhD, I believe in political science, assembled a great panel with expertise in business, foundation work, political theory, social sciences, and other disciplines you might call "hard," or "knowledge based." "Techne" figured high in the covernsation, but "sophysyne," or wisdom, virtue, temperence, self-control, balance? I missed on Bill's panel the voice of poetry, particularly satire, comedy or carnival.  It is as if philanthropy has become a serious and somewhat dismal matter of means and ends responsive to donor intention and theoris of social change and the donor's sense of community needs. Even when its "expressive" dimension is mentioned, the terminology is owlish and suitably impassive.  If I had a big foundation, I would fund a Think Tank populated by "expressive" crazies, like Blake,  Dickens, Artaud, or maybe Joe Bageant.  Ideas, as conservative say, matter, but not ideas thought in the head alone.  I wish Amy Kass, the literary one in the Hudson bunch, had been present to conclude the proceedings with a quotation from say, Hard Times.

Donor Intent and Donor Advised Funds

Donors Trust, focused on conservative or libertarian causes, has some well-considered provisions for keeping a donor advised fund focused on donor intent even after the donor is gone.  Whether or not you share Donors Trust's conservative viewpoint, their thoughts on how to preserve donor intent may be of interest.  Specifically, they suggest a gift to a donor advised fund held by an organization whose ideals you share. Then they suggest appointing a successor to advise the fund after you are gone.  Also,  they suggest that the organization holding the donor advised fund restrict the successor-advisor to a range of grants consonant with the mission the donor  shares with that organization. Finally, they suggest setting a term limit on the fund, say, 20 years, after which the money is given away and the fund closes.  In this way you can prevent the fund from becoming a source of funding for causes you detest - as perhaps happened with, say, Henry Ford's Foundation. Perhaps for progressives, a possible place to consider for stewardship of donor advised funds might be Tides.  Local community foundations which you share a focus on local causes may be another solution.  But, regardless, of where you park the gift money, whether in a donor advised fund, charitable lead trust, or private foundation it is worth puzzling out the question: "Who will direct the gifts when I am gone, and what safeguards are there to keep the gifts in line with my philosophy and intent?"

Perhaps, too, at some level, one might want to ask: "Am I so wise? Might others see farther?"

How many of the best things in your life have you accomplished by intention, control, and the accountability of those subservient to your imperious will? Your marriage, for example? Your children? Your best ideas? Most of what matters comes from luck, fortune, grace or in productive conflict.   Unless we are wise, our good intentions may be what the road to hell is paved with.  Henry Ford if in Hell rues the Ford Foundation for deviating from his designs; if in Heaven, he has the Foundation to thank for it, given his labor practices and neolithic politics. 


Open Source Grant Management Software

Our mission is to create, as a community, the non-profit sector's first open-source grants management software for tracking grant applications from initial request to fully funded and beyond. We're committed to providing an easy-to-use, open application framework that supports all major hardware platforms and operating systems, and effectively and intuitively serves grant giving and seeking organizations.

Solpath also has a blog.

Interview with The Chronicle of Philanthropy

I was interviewed today by Peter Panepento at the Chronicle of Philanthropy for an article he is doing on philanthropy blogs.  A couple of years ago, he had done such an article and had a hard time finding more than a few blogs to write about. Today, philanthropy blogs abound.  Will the evolving conversation be decorous, as more and more people from inside philanthropy use blogs to advance their personal and professional goals? Or, are are we headed towards a new and more rambunctious conversation, citizen to citizen,  as established figures from philanthropy blog their official views only to find themselves accosted by irreverent voices from the Dumpster? My advice to Philanthropy Insiders: Walk on! Do not even glance at the Dumpster Dwellers out behind Council on Foundations.  It only emboldens the rabble. The orderly management of the public interest is best left to professionals.  If we want to know what ordinay people think about the role of philanthropy in a democratic society, we can send an intern to the mall with a clipboard.