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September 2010

Engaging Wealthy Constituents for Inspired Outcomes

Free Resource for Fundraisers: Here is a link to a self running slide show with voice over. You are welcome to use this with your donors and board. Have them listen to it, either on their own, or in a group setting. The presentation, as you will see, lands on, "Please Lead." Please lead at the planning table where the big dollars are planned. Please lead from the best in you, so the best in us as a community lives on.

The talk leaves donors and advisors motivated, but it begs the question, How. How are we to lead?

You, as the convener can then suggest practical next steps, or lead the viewers to another more directly practical workshop. The donor can lead by rethinking his or her estate plan in the light of the talk, and in the light of his or her passionate community commitments. Advisors and fundraisers can lead by using the question banks in this presentation to open high level conversations about legacy and social impact with high capacity donors. Board members can lead by doing their own legacy planning, and providing an inspired example to others. Board members can also lead by aligning the mission of the organization, and its programs, with the mission and desired social impact of key donors.

For further reading, especially if you are grassroots organization, you might try Hildy Gottlieb's Pollyanna Principles: Reinventing 'Nonprofit Organizations' to Create the Future of our World and Kevin Johnson's The Power of Legacy and Planned Gifts: How Nonprofits and Donors Work Together to Change the World. These books will give you practical, hands-on exercises you can use with your key donors, allied professionals, and board members as you work through what real leadership means in your organization, and in your community. You may well conclude that you and your peer grassroots organizations should be working together collaboratively, perhaps with your local community foundation, to constructively advance the overall tempo and volume of mission-driven, community-focused, philanthropy. You may also conclude that with your community foundation and allied advisors, you can meet the hidden objections that big donors have about making big legacy gifts to small and possibly ephemeral grassroots organizations. There are substantive answers to the concerns these donors have.

If you have a chance, check out the slide show, and the books, then let me know what you think. I would like to develop further such "long distance" educational and motivational resources, if there is an interest among gifthub readers. How to make all this work - can we share our experiences?

The White Underclass

Hard work, conservative values, religious faith, military service, and committed to freedom - so how is that working for you now, Redneck? It is working for David Koch, who funds your Tea Party. They tell you how smart you are. Liberals tell you how stupid you are. Who are you smart enough to believe? Capitalism will not be televised. Service, honor, death. You are loyal and predictable. Can you blame the powers that be for taking your money, life chances, and blood? You offer it so freely! They would be crazy not to take it. The more they take from you, the more you lash out at nobodies. Why not take more from you?

Of Philanthropic Data and Desire

A good piece by TPI’s new VP, Cindy Gibson (formerly of Carnegie) and Bill Dietel, former president of the Rockefeller Brothers Fund. The authors’ say: while metrics are critical and have their place, the "data dash" of recent years has sometimes overlooked how personal relationships, social networks, family dynamics, passion for causes, and other factors shape giving. She and Mr. Dietel suggest that the nonprofit world needs to strike a balance "in assessing what donors need and want—and that that balance falls somewhere between data and desire." Actually, a life lived between data and desire would certainly make a good film. Dr. Spock would never "get" philanthropy. More on the piece here.

Can passion be more than emotion? Can it also be, say, judgement, taste, discernment, appreciation? Nah! That would be the liberal arts and what self-respecting philanthropist would waste time on developing his or her human capacities? Aristotle be damed. We are all logical positivists now, long after that philosophy was soundly discredited. Business schools are trade schools, suitable for those who devote their lives to pedestrian concerns, but again, we must not say so. Cynthia Gibson, like H. Peter Karoff before her, is a holdout. The forces of logic will soon sweep past such discredited instutions as literature, ethics, religion. Truth will prevail, by trimming all but a few limbs from the human tree. Cynthia, surrender and it will go easier for you.

Serving Professional Down on His Luck

The rich get richer, the poor get poorer. And I am caught in the middle as a Serving Professional, loyal as a dog to those I serve, and loyal as well to my fellow beggars. The other day, I was waiting on tables for a meeting of Billionaires discussing their philanthropy. I dropped a tray. They all applauded, whereas my friends on the wait staff groaned in sympathy. Later, my boss docked my pay, but I at least I still have a job. I did have one good moment, though, I got to read my Moral Biography of David Koch. It was fulsome and I got $5 tip. No one cheered but no one jeered either. Mr. Koch said he would give me $10 if I did one for his brother as well. Someone with a good liberal arts education has to do this kind of shite work. But I never thought I would stoop so low. Well, I am in good company. No, I will not name names. They are who is who of the media, politics, think tank world, fundraising, and finance, law, and accounting. But I have mellowed. No more satire. How can the pot call the kettle black? We are all whores. But $5.00? For an original, autographed, 25 page Moral Biography, Expurgated, Sanitized, and bound in faux leather, with an Introductory Panegyric by....? No! I will not do satire. I will take the secrets of our noble trade to my grave.

The Angry Rich

Paul Krugman on the angry rich and their ongoing, bipartisan, influence over tax policy in Washington.

The spectacle of high-income Americans, the world’s luckiest people, wallowing in self-pity and self-righteousness would be funny, except for one thing: they may well get their way. Never mind the $700 billion price tag for extending the high-end tax breaks: virtually all Republicans and some Democrats are rushing to the aid of the oppressed affluent.

Wealth Bondage Rescues Blogging

Wealth Bondage is pleased to announce that Typepad, the blogging platform used by Gifthub to Save Capitalism, has been aquired by Say Media.

SAY Media brings together influential voices and their communities to enable advertisers to reach a global audience of 345 million.2 The company provides systemic ways for advertisers to engage the social consumer in an era when attention is scarce and interruptive ad models are less effective.

As the steward of this open space for giving to flourish you have my personal commitment that you as a social consumer will be engaged by Wealth Bondage in in every way humanly possible. We will strive to make your advertising consumption fully continuous with our rich branded content. In no way will this affect my continued support of Wealth Bondage.