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August 13, 2006


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Daniel F. Bassill

Phil, I've added a link to this message in my own blog at http://tutormentor.blogspot.com/2006/08/welfare-reform-next-steps.html

I've put it in context, focusing on the next steps of welfare reform. If community foundations want to improve schools, or end poverty, they will need to step to the plate, as you've suggested, to connect those who can help with those who need help for much longer than just short term project based funding.

I don't think this moral leadership opportunity is limited to community foundations. I think it needs to be taken by CEOs, faith leaders, and others who a) have a responsibility; b) have a self interest; c) want to seize the opportunity to create more visibility for their own role in the world

Changing the behaviors of people who already are leaders of foundations or businesses is just as difficult as changing the behaviors of people on welfare. I believe we need to take a longer view, and focus on how we can intentionally create a new generation of leaders who think and act differently than what we have now. That means we need to reach kids early and mentor them continuously until they are in work and careers where their leadership can have a moral impact on how we bridge the two sides of the economic and social divides of this world.


Dan, thank you for the impassioned and visionary comment and correction. Of course you are right. Community Foundations might be conveners of civic leaders, but cannot supplant them. Mentoring youth to be civic leaders is so important. Again, that ties in which trends in financial and legal services. Our clients are asking us for help in being better "financial parents." They want to get their kids engaged so they don't become bratty trust fund babies. They are wrestling with "how much is enough, when?" And they are receptive to the thoughts that the best inheritance may be a philanthropic fund that the child eventually manages. To prepare the child for that role parents are receptive to ideas on how to engage kids early, often with the parents, in civic family projects. You might consider how you could reach out to the englightened tax, legal and financial advisors with a proposition on how you could help wealthy client's get their kids engaged.

Daniel F. Bassill

I have volunteers from JPMorgan Chase and Merril Lynch on my board and among the volunteers at http://www.cabriniconnections.net. I've helped careate a program at the Chicago Bar Association that enlists lawyers and law firms to be volunteers and donors (http://www.lend-a-hand.net).

What makes my work unique is that I maintain a database of almost all non-school volunteer based tutor/mentor programs in Chicago. Thus, I'm not just drawing volunteers/donors to my organization, I'm taking the leader role that intends to draw these resources to all existing programs, and to fill voids in neighborhoods that don't have programs.

Keeping this in miind, I've suggested to my financial friends that on the Inernet based brokerage web sites it would not take much to have a button for planned/charitable giving, where the firm advocates for giving into tutor/mentor programs, and provides financial services so the donor uses that company to facilitate their giving.

So far, none have accepted, but I keep trying. Most great inventions are simple ideas that someone finds a new way to execute. How many people have looked at something and said "Why didn't I think of th at?"

If we can keep innovating ideas that benefit non profits and communities, and make them public, then we can stimulate the ownership of these ideas by people who can execute them better than me or people like me.

As long as a small group of people value my role in this I'll have enough funding to continue to play that role and the winners will be all of the youth serving organizations who are better supported than they are now.


I may have a worthwile suggestion. Why don't you email me privately?

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