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YP Journal

How a Philanthropy Filter Easily Improves Giving

How a Philanthropy Filter Easily Improves Giving

How does it feel to be a philanthropist today? It might be tempting to assume that question only applies to the wealthy donor who can write large checks year after year. When in fact, the question is for you. Comparing ourselves against others who give more or less...

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Tips for How One in a Row Can Remake Your Philanthropy

Tips for How One in a Row Can Remake Your Philanthropy

"She's a bookworm," a frequent description used to explain why I didn't hear my mother announce dinner or remind me of chores. As a teen, I occasionally found myself in a waiting room with magazines strewn around on subjects of no interest. However, I was drawn to...

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How to Make Nonprofits Jump Up and Down and Shout for Joy

How to Make Nonprofits Jump Up and Down and Shout for Joy

Water, lights, toilet paper, batteries, rent, copy paper, staples, pens, printer cartridges – what do the items on this list have in common? They can all be found somewhere in the budget of practically any nonprofit organization you support. Oh, did I forget the...

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How to Build Lasting Partnerships with the Greatest Impact

How to Build Lasting Partnerships with the Greatest Impact

This past weekend I had some extra time to read a book that has been patiently waiting for me to pay it some attention…Accidental Philanthropist - A Journey Towards Intentional Generosity by Steve Perry. A respected Facebook friend recommended it so I headed over to...

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How Honoring a Graduate Models Generosity

How Honoring a Graduate Models Generosity

Graduations are upon us. They are celebrations for what is ending and for many what’s finally finished.  They are a threshold event with doors opening and paths disappearing into foggy futures. They are a pivot moment for many graduates as they find their way into the...

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How Simplified Giving Makes You a Better Giver

How Simplified Giving Makes You a Better Giver

If I could be queen of a certain land, it would be the land of Intentional. We would welcome all who love the exploration of ideas to the point of purpose, to be closely followed by a plan. My preparation to be queen of Intentional started at an early age. Moving...

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Will You Learn to be a Better Giver Over Time?

Will You Learn to be a Better Giver Over Time?

My childhood memory of the Big Eddy Bridge, now under Lake Palestine, is not accurate. But the memory is real. My brother and I would convince my dad to drive over the old, rickety bridge every chance we got. Every board in the old wooden bridge slapped the...

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Why Your Giving Needs to Support Change Today

Why Your Giving Needs to Support Change Today

Do you need a laptop, notebook or tablet?  That was the question Sid asked when helping me sort out what kind of computer replacement I needed for my work. Gone are the days when all I needed was a Big Chief tablet, freshly sharpened #2 pencils and a three-ring...

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Six Ways to Identify Where to Give in Unfamiliar Locations

Six Ways to Identify Where to Give in Unfamiliar Locations

Unprecedented. Unparalleled. 100-year event. Words and phrases used to describe the plunging temperatures across Texas and the deep south as a polar vortex of arctic air settled in for more than a week. As temperatures plunge and power outages occur, our response...

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How to Love Your Favorite Nonprofit Organization this Month

How to Love Your Favorite Nonprofit Organization this Month

School-age memories are often etched into our psyche. For me, these memories are either clear and colorful or vague and foggy. One of the clear, colorful memories from elementary school came on February 14. Eleven years old, I was excited about the upcoming...

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Like Dr. Seuss, Care a Whole Awful Lot

Like Dr. Seuss, Care a Whole Awful Lot

“Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing is going to get better. It’s not.” That’s sage advice from one of the most popular children’s authors of all time, Dr. Seuss. This isn’t the first time I’ve started a blog with Dr. Seuss. But it seems his...

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How the Goldilocks Rule Makes Your Giving “Just Right”

How the Goldilocks Rule Makes Your Giving “Just Right”

A bowl of oatmeal with steam dancing above is just right in my opinion. Goldilocks would disagree and declare my bowl of oatmeal “too hot.” Like Goldilocks’ preference for baby bear’s “just right” porridge, donors have a just right style of giving. Because each of us...

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How to Become Santa for Someone this Year

How to Become Santa for Someone this Year

In the late sixties, my family moved to Cheyenne, Wyoming. My brother and I arrived at our new school in the middle of an outbreak of strep throat, also known as streptococcus. The outbreak was severe. They began weekly throat cultures on every student and sending...

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Helpers Can Make Year-End Giving More Meaningful

Helpers Can Make Year-End Giving More Meaningful

Helpers come in all sizes and forms. It has been such an odd year. I can't imagine what things might be like at the North Pole. What would Santa Claus do without his helpers, elves in green suits with pointy toes, to prepare for the all-important worldwide delivery of...

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How to Join the Donation Crowd and Avoid Fear of the Unknown

How to Join the Donation Crowd and Avoid Fear of the Unknown

Are you feeling down about the future? Join the crowd. Let’s create our own crowd – let’s hang together and give together so that others, including our families and friends, will find help when it is needed. I’m sure you’ll fit right in. Giving is different this year,...

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Online Gifts: How to Better Reach Your Giving Goals

Online Gifts: How to Better Reach Your Giving Goals

Have you made a gift online this year? Chances are the answer is yes. A growing number of donors respond to a Facebook post or a Tweet to give but ask few questions about the group or nonprofit making the ask. A few clicks and it's done. Gift made. Endorphins surge....

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Daring to Risk Failure Leads to Greater Success

Daring to Risk Failure Leads to Greater Success

After reading Dawn’s blog last week, I accepted the challenge and read Suzanne Smith’s article, “The Social Sector’s F-Word — Failure”.  As a former Founder/Executive Director of a local nonprofit, many of Smith’s points brought back memories and lessons learned. It...

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Overcoming Fear of Failure Can Change the World

Overcoming Fear of Failure Can Change the World

A nonprofit sector strategist I follow writes a blog called Socialtrend Spotter. Suzanne Smith, author, founder and CEO of Social Impact Architects, often provides excellent insight and suggestions for her readers. She speaks directly into the most immediate struggles...

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How Life Stories Become the Legacy You Leave

How Life Stories Become the Legacy You Leave

The everyday life you live is the legacy you leave. Yes, the stories of our lives become our legacy. We have no choice in the matter. Others look at the trail we walked, the life journey we are on and see a legacy.  The very nature of a legacy is storytelling....

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Why a Gift Now Is as Important as One That Changes the Future

Why a Gift Now Is as Important as One That Changes the Future

The first bicycle I attempted to ride lacked training wheels and was a bit large for me. My cousin was eighteen months older, taller and already had long legs. She made riding look effortless. Only six at the time, I was in between. Not quite big enough for big kid...

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How Your Small Donation Will Make You the Best Donor

How Your Small Donation Will Make You the Best Donor

Five years ago, a funny-sounding start-up company called Silidog caught my attention. Researching crowdfunding, I stumbled across Mickey Lickstein’s project on Kickstarter, a web-based platform used by creatives to find financial backers willing to invest in tiny...

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You See What They’re Doing. Join Me in Applause.

You See What They’re Doing. Join Me in Applause.

Ladies and Gentlemen, may I direct your attention to the gallery? We are joined today by a phenomenal group of nonprofit leaders, staff, and volunteers. You may not recognize all the faces, but I’m sure many are familiar. I assure you that they have all been working...

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How to Raise Kids to Make, Save, and Give Money

How to Raise Kids to Make, Save, and Give Money

The PARADE Magazine has been a part of my Sunday newspaper reading for more years than I can remember. Tucked in the largest paper of the week with advertisements and the comics, it was my earliest introduction to many things cultural. Started in 1941, PARADE magazine...

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How to Help Teens Change the World Now

How to Help Teens Change the World Now

As a kid, summertime meant more time to read the stack of books I brought home from the library each week, swimming with my grandmother early in the morning, horseback riding and westerns at the drive-in movies. My parents didn’t seem to work all that hard to keep me...

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How Nonprofits Make Great Lemonade Out of Lemons

How Nonprofits Make Great Lemonade Out of Lemons

It is a big day when the home you’ve had on the market for eleven months finally sells. In fact, for days leading up to the closing and the hours and minutes before, I was afraid to let myself get excited in case something, anything unexpected, went wrong. It did...

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16 Ways to Give and a Challenge for You!

16 Ways to Give and a Challenge for You!

No fluff, no story, no long explanations. I have a challenge for you. Think about ways to give to your favorite charity. I am sure several ideas came to mind. I first came up with six simple and obvious ideas. Then I started thinking about what’s unexpected. And then...

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How to be a Fan and Encourage Important Work

How to be a Fan and Encourage Important Work

Four hundred unopened emails waiting for me to read, respond, or delete. Every day I try to reduce the number through quick deletions and one-line responses. But it bothers me that I have so little time to read the important information coming to me from countless...

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Make Plans to Give Now and Again Later This Year

Make Plans to Give Now and Again Later This Year

Most email I read now begins with, “I hope this email finds you and your family safe.” Early on, I was comforted by these statements. Today they feel repetitive. I realize the writer doesn’t have any idea how to start the email or the letter right now. All the rules...

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3 Insights From Leadership Forged in a Crisis

3 Insights From Leadership Forged in a Crisis

What will the great nonprofit leaders of today look like? What actions will they take that encourages us to look forward to a new future? Right now, all over this country, we are among nonprofit leaders being made – not born. To truly understand what to look for in...

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How to Ensure Your Kids Catch Heartfelt Generosity

How to Ensure Your Kids Catch Heartfelt Generosity

Right now, our attention is on the small acts that reduce our chances of catching any kind of crud going around. It could be a cold, flu, or today’s new bug, the coronavirus. But I have a surprise, some things are worth catching. And when it’s right and it goes viral,...

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When Nonprofits Need to Make Changes, So Can You

When Nonprofits Need to Make Changes, So Can You

The conversation went something like this: “I’m sure you’ve heard they have a new Executive Director. What do you think is happening over there? Do you think they will survive?” The answer is yes, they will survive. In fact, my guess is they’ll still be going strong...

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Take a Risk to Be Part of Something Great

Take a Risk to Be Part of Something Great

How do nonprofit organizations you support get better at what they are doing? How do they learn their way into new, better, or improved services? The big question is how do you help them change the world? Can you expand your services? A state agency asked the local...

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How You Can Be Their Best Role Model

How You Can Be Their Best Role Model

The question is, who is watching and listening to you? No, I don’t mean in the way that Alexa or Google Assistant is tracking your words and making suggestions. I don’t mean how a drone tracks you down and finds your address to deliver the Amazon package to your front...

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How Your Role Models Make You a Greater Philanthropist

How Your Role Models Make You a Greater Philanthropist

The email was short and said, “If you don’t have this, I wanted to send it to you.”  Thirty-plus years of memories raced through my mind when I saw the attached picture. It’s a collection of memories that have not faded with time and are relevant to the work I do...

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How to Prepare for Life’s Untimely Events

How to Prepare for Life’s Untimely Events

While sitting at a stoplight, I answered a phone call expecting one voice but hearing another. The voice I expected was the founder of a family foundation that I had worked with for several years.  We had been preparing for a meeting two weeks away. The voice I...

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Philanthropy Made Easy… After 40 Years of Lessons Learned!

Philanthropy Made Easy… After 40 Years of Lessons Learned!

It started this way, “The questions that loom large as you navigate a college education are: What’s next? What career, what advanced degrees, where to start?” That was the opening paragraph of a very short piece I contributed to my alma mater for A Patriot’s Guide to...

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How Family Giving Adds Joy to the Holidays

How Family Giving Adds Joy to the Holidays

Will the next generation give as much as their grandparents and parents? And which generation is “the next generation”? Well, of course, the answer is relative. Every generation wonders about the one that follows.  Baby Boomers have been wondering about Generation X,...

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How to Make the Most of Your Time at Fundraising Events

How to Make the Most of Your Time at Fundraising Events

How many special event fundraisers have you attended – this year, last year, the last decade?  I’ve been to so many that it would take all the fingers and toes of a roomful of friends to count them all.  None stand out; they blend together in my...

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Pondering Philanthropy Questions from a “Little Old Lady”

Pondering Philanthropy Questions from a “Little Old Lady”

Sometimes when I sit down to write the YP Journal, a philanthropy issue is on my mind. But today there was no such burning issue, so in the spirit of hunting for inspiration, I started looking back at old articles and stumbled across one calling my name. It was titled...

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Tips for All-Important Family Conversations

Tips for All-Important Family Conversations

A friend shared that he planned to have a conversation very soon with his wife about some of the finer details of their financial situation. He described it as getting a meeting on their calendar. The need for such an appointment came just weeks after several...

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How to Make Wise Giving Decisions When Disasters Strike

How to Make Wise Giving Decisions When Disasters Strike

We’re right in the middle of hurricane season. Whether it’s a storm in the Atlantic or the Eastern Pacific, August is pretty much the middle of the season. Every year around this time, and especially into September hurricane season seems the most threatening. Perhaps...

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How Four Simple Behaviors Improved My Giving Habits

How Four Simple Behaviors Improved My Giving Habits

Once July 4th rolls around, I begin to anticipate another year rapidly coming to an end. The list of things I intend to accomplish this year looms larger and longer as I realize how little time is left. Year-long giving is always on my list. It’s a habit I talk about...

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How Aunts and Uncles Teach the Next Generation About Giving

How Aunts and Uncles Teach the Next Generation About Giving

The day started normally. Two generations of family members gathered around a table for the annual meeting, intent on making giving decisions for the small family foundation. While only six of us, we represented many roles. Sisters, husbands, daughters, a niece and...

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How to Give Well When a Nonprofit is in Transition

How to Give Well When a Nonprofit is in Transition

A recent five-hour drive to my dad's home was more than enough time for thoughts to drift in and out about work over the last several weeks. First, there was a phone conversation with a couple exploring a list of nonprofits and navigating how to make large donations...

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How Do You Know If Your Last One-third Has Started?

How Do You Know If Your Last One-third Has Started?

What if today is the beginning of the last one-third of your life? How will you define success for that last one-third? Generosity or zeroes in the bank? I recently read an article about giving in the last one-third of a lifetime. The writer, Bruce Deboskey, a...

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How Do You Slow Nonprofit Traffic in Your Mailbox?

How Do You Slow Nonprofit Traffic in Your Mailbox?

Frankly, I’m stumped. A friend asked how to get nonprofit organizations to stop sending information, invites and fundraising letters. What makes this a complicated question, and what I explained to my friend, is that nonprofits learn a relationship with a donor takes...

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Questions You Should Ask Before Donating to Scale an Idea

Questions You Should Ask Before Donating to Scale an Idea

If it’s such a great idea why aren’t they doing it everywhere? Or maybe it sounds like this; it’s an incredible idea. It should be in every school, neighborhood or every community. Sometimes it even sounds like this. I just had a phone call from someone in California...

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Yes, I STILL Love This Work!

Yes, I STILL Love This Work!

As I sit here in our NEW Your Philanthropy office space surrounded by boxes needing to be unpacked, it is hard for me to believe this journey started five years ago. And now I’m looking to the next five and what’s next for Your Philanthropy. Today, I looked back and...

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How to Dig into a Nonprofit’s Numbers

How to Dig into a Nonprofit’s Numbers

Paul Harvey might have left us ten years ago, but the rest of the story has never gone away. Growing up on AM radio meant that I listened to Paul Harvey talk about the news of the day and heard his fascinating The Rest of the Story segments almost daily. I learned...

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How to Give from the Heart and Still Be Smart 

How to Give from the Heart and Still Be Smart 

Walking to the front of the room I knew I had one job to accomplish. I needed to thank officers, welcome new board members and especially turn the reins over to the new board chair. But as I turned to face the audience, it separated into the faces of spouses,...

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Tips to Answer Your Question “Are the kids ready?”

Tips to Answer Your Question “Are the kids ready?”

This story captured my imagination. I’ll tell you why shortly. First, the story. A certain farmer had become old and ready to pass his farm down to one of his two sons. When he brought his sons together to speak about it, he told them, "The farm will go to the younger...

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How to Get Started on Being an Intentional Donor

How to Get Started on Being an Intentional Donor

Is time your friend or foe? One moment it crawls at a snail’s pace and the next minute rushes by like a rabbit in a race with a dog. In my experience, the rabbit always wins the race and my snail-paced moments are rare. As I write today the year is one-twelfth over,...

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How to Give Bill Gates Style        

How to Give Bill Gates Style        

Make it fun! That’s how Bill Gates tells us he gives. If your first thought is “oh, sure, with all that money, of course, he can have fun,” stay tuned. Before we jump into what Bill says, let’s start with what it must have been like to be his parents. Do you suppose...

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How Looking Back Can Fuel Tomorrow’s Change   

How Looking Back Can Fuel Tomorrow’s Change   

January usually begins with resolutions for the future. But before resolutions can be made we need time to reflect on the past. I asked the question: what have we accomplished in the last five years at Your Philanthropy? A little math was in order. Just how much good...

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How to Fill the Empty Seat at the Holiday Table     

How to Fill the Empty Seat at the Holiday Table     

Is someone missing from your holiday gatherings this year? It seems there is always an empty chair at the table. Someone you just lost or lost many years ago, someone who is across the country or simply at another gathering -whatever the reason, the chair is still...

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How a Thankful Heart Inspires Generosity

How a Thankful Heart Inspires Generosity

What comes first? Thankfulness or generosity? A.W. Tozer said, “Perhaps it takes a purer faith to praise God for unrealized blessings than for those we once enjoyed or those we enjoy now.” Start with a definition of thankfulness from a tenth-grade student who...

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The Surprising Staying Power of the Middle Class Donor

The Surprising Staying Power of the Middle Class Donor

Ten years ago, the country plunged into a recession deep enough to have a grinding impact on America’s charities. When I read those last two words together, I think about my nonprofit friends right here in my community. When the Chronicle of Philanthropy ran an...

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How to Fund Community Change with Shared Passion

How to Fund Community Change with Shared Passion

A Tale of Two Cities – oh, I meant Two Coalitions. Besides the name has already been taken and I can’t begin to write as eloquently as Charles Dickens. But I can give it my best shot at being succinct about the importance of paying attention to change work going on in...

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How to Give Like the Mega-Wealthy

How to Give Like the Mega-Wealthy

Are you familiar with the idiom, “he puts his pants on one leg at a time,” often followed by “just like everyone else.” Well, that’s what I thought about as I read an article detailing a study of the wealthiest donors and how they make giving decisions. The study...

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How to Travel Making a Unique Difference

How to Travel Making a Unique Difference

With summer officially over, some of us are turning our focus to the holidays that are swiftly approaching. But for the planners amongst us now is the prime-time for planning next summer’s adventures. In a recent travel blog called Multi Briefs, I read an interesting...

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Every Gift You Make Leaves a Lasting Impression

Every Gift You Make Leaves a Lasting Impression

Something had stained the new Tervis tumbler. I scrubbed harder; they didn’t come off. Holding it up to the light streaming through the kitchen window, I could see them plain as day. Fingerprints. Permanently etched onto the plastic glass, there were the tell-tell...

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How to Be the Unique Giver You Were Designed to Be

How to Be the Unique Giver You Were Designed to Be

I have a friend who loves to go to party fundraisers. Her husband finds a buddy to talk with while she dances from one group to another because she loves people and doesn't want to miss a single friend. And for her, it's all the more enjoyable because she can have so...

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How to Use a Donor Hack to Help Change the World

How to Use a Donor Hack to Help Change the World

Remember Phone a Friend on the hit TV show Who Wants to Be a Millionaire? Well, it’s a donor hack I recommend to anyone who wants to make a better, smarter, more impactful (put your favorite word here) gift. When it’s time to do giving right, Phone a Friend. Imagine...

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3 Important Skills Your Giving Advisor Needs to Have

3 Important Skills Your Giving Advisor Needs to Have

What does the act of giving look like for you? What happens in your mind between the time you hear or read a story that describes a need and when you make the contribution? Is the desire to contribute a heart response or a mind response? Most likely it is both. Dr....

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Five Easy Questions to Make a Better Designated Gift

Five Easy Questions to Make a Better Designated Gift

Is there one right answer to the question, how many programs can one nonprofit organization operate? Of course, the answer is no because every organization is different. Some are single focused on clients and services. Others provide a multitude of programs, serving...

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How to Build a Giving Bridge One Intentional Gift at a Time

How to Build a Giving Bridge One Intentional Gift at a Time

I know my childhood memory of the Big Eddy Bridge, now under Lake Palestine in Texas, is not accurate. But the memory is real.  Every chance we had my brother, and I would convince my dad to drive over the old and very rickety bridge.  It seemed like every...

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How to Share Your Generosity with a Child

How to Share Your Generosity with a Child

A special note: This blog is mostly about grandparents, but I challenge you to replace those words with parents, aunt, uncle or friend every time you read them. This blog is about all of us and the unique role we play in the lives of the children all around us. “I...

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How to Be More than a Fair-weather Donor

How to Be More than a Fair-weather Donor

The recent three-day weekend afforded extra time for my gardening habit, what I call the green monster in my yard. It takes a lot of my free time and is the source of both pleasure and pain. Recently, I experienced some of the pain while trimming bushes. Close by is a...

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How to Trust Your Unique Giving Instincts

How to Trust Your Unique Giving Instincts

Join us for a fun event. Help us honor or remember. Please help feed, educate, clothe – you know the drill. These are the messages that jump off the pages and invitations in your mailbox every day. The pleas are real, the invitation to the fun is real, just like the...

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How Mid-Year Gifts Make Healthy Nonprofits

How Mid-Year Gifts Make Healthy Nonprofits

Standing in the alley behind our office building, I struggled to breathe evenly. Blinking back tears, I tried to figure out the words I would use to deliver the news. For the first time in our history, we faced a cutback of services and a staff layoff. I had been...

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How to Get a Seat at the Table in the Fight to End Poverty

How to Get a Seat at the Table in the Fight to End Poverty

As a donor, making a gift can get you a seat at the table in fighting to end poverty. Sitting at the table gives you an up close and personal view of the problem. You become a smarter donor and they get food on their table. Deciding whether the best answer is to write...

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How to Make Wise Giving Decisions About Young Nonprofits

How to Make Wise Giving Decisions About Young Nonprofits

The daffodils are fading and the weather warming. I planted a few tomato plants and moved several potted plants to the back porch, and then the temperature dropped. Once again, misled by the inexact science of weather predictions. So, I check the Old Farmer’s Almanac...

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Are You Willing to Trust the Next Generation?

Are You Willing to Trust the Next Generation?

"How about oatmeal for breakfast?" That was the question I asked my dad during a recent visit to his home. He was preoccupied and assumed I would make it like, well, just like it’s supposed to be made. "Sure," he responded while passing through the kitchen. I busied...

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Hot Dogs, Money and Kids

Hot Dogs, Money and Kids

If you could invent one thing to make the world a better place, what would it be? That’s the question we put to eleven-year-old Jack during the game Phil and His Family’s Adventures in Giving. Joined by his thirteen-year-old brother and another friend of the same age,...

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Curiosity Triggers Valuable Ideas

Curiosity Triggers Valuable Ideas

“The two best interview subjects are children under 10 and people over 70 for the same reason; they say the first thing that comes to their mind. The children don’t know what they’re saying, and the old folks don’t care.”  He should know; Art Linkletter was at the...

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5 Critical Questions for Powerful Philanthropy

5 Critical Questions for Powerful Philanthropy

Wait, what? How many times have you been sitting at a stop light, checking your phone, and suddenly you hear the radio announcer say something that causes you to go… Wait, what? I need an easy backup button for my radio; just 30 seconds would do the trick. Or, you’re...

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Will Board Service Make You a Better Donor?

Will Board Service Make You a Better Donor?

Start any new endeavor, learn a new skill, or explore an unknown subject and you should have more questions than answers. The more interested you are in learning about that one thing, the more questions you will have. So, when a donor who had recently made a...

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A Giving Ladder You Can Share     

A Giving Ladder You Can Share     

Peeping through a keyhole on Christmas morning I could see the packages and toys Santa brought. All under the age of ten, we four made up the grandkid clan taking turns looking through that keyhole while my grandmother took her sweet time cooking breakfast. My sweet...

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3 Reasons To Listen As We Gather Together

3 Reasons To Listen As We Gather Together

My weekend was spent with a family, two generations. Gathered together for an annual giving meeting they aimed to work through a sizeable list of giving requests and agree on how much to give. The second generation had come from various states to join their parents in...

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Decide Where, When, How in Giving to Disasters

Decide Where, When, How in Giving to Disasters

Disasters have been coming at us, roaring across our TV’s. There is little rhyme or reason and even less sensible explanation for why now, why there, why here. Texas, Florida, California, Puerto Rico and even Las Vegas. With so much loss of human life, personal...

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Why the Giving Triangle Matters

Why the Giving Triangle Matters

I didn’t think much of triangles in the tenth grade. They were just sides and angles. They were consistent, always a base with two sides leaning against each other as they came to a point.  Sides might be equal, or not.  The space inside the triangle is larger at the...

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Donations Instead of Flowers Keep Memories and Nonprofits Alive

Donations Instead of Flowers Keep Memories and Nonprofits Alive

It didn’t start out as a month of remembrances, but it is. I enjoyed reflecting on memories from childhood with Grandparent’s Day early in September. But then not quite unexpectedly my mother passed away. Despite how prepared you think you will be the place and time...

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Honoring Lessons From Our Grandparents

Honoring Lessons From Our Grandparents

Why do we celebrate Grandparents Day? Grandparents are cool. I vote we celebrate all month long! Originally established by presidential decree in 1978, it is intended as a day to honor grandparents for the contributions they make in our lives. It set me thinking about...

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Lessons I’ve Learned About Nonprofit Results and Predictions

Lessons I’ve Learned About Nonprofit Results and Predictions

I paused the television briefly to catch the week’s weather prediction. I was trying to figure out exactly what to expect. It said 30% hit or miss showers. I’m often confused about the percentages for the rain forecast - will the rain hit me or miss me? Years ago, a...

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Still in Search of the Secret Recipe

Still in Search of the Secret Recipe

Four years ago, I wrote about finding the “secret recipe” for doing great philanthropy. I answered the question often asked, “How can I be sure my gift is effective and used for my intended purpose?” It is so easy to assume there is a secret to it all because the...

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6 Tips to Engage the Next Generation in Giving

6 Tips to Engage the Next Generation in Giving

My recent trip to the sunshine state was missing the yellow stuff as I drove in the blinding rain up the coast of Florida from St. Augustine to Jacksonville. Driving a rental car, listening to directions from my tablet, and not being able to see more than the lights...

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Strong Executive Directors Lead Healthy Nonprofits

Strong Executive Directors Lead Healthy Nonprofits

Henry sits patiently at the back door every night. He parks in the middle of the metal threshold, so it's hard to avoid stepping on him in the dim porch lights. He's consistent, every night, from dark till, well, whenever he gives it up, which is after I've gone on to...

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6 Motivations Driving Family Philanthropy

6 Motivations Driving Family Philanthropy

Why does a family work together to give together? Despite the challenges of just being family, something else drives them toward a philanthropic vision and provides motivation to fuel their giving efforts. Sitting with a family while they sift through formal giving...

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Play Makes Smart Giving

Play Makes Smart Giving

Lego kids have come of age, and I don’t mean recently. They’ve been of age for some time now. You probably remember stumbling over Lego bricks or trying to build the picture on the box. Your forty-something-year-old kids had their share of boxes and buckets of Legos,...

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3 Quick Tips for Better Donor Listening Skills

3 Quick Tips for Better Donor Listening Skills

Listening to a book about listening is a challenge. Now I question my listening skills, and as the narrator speaks my mind drifts between memories of failed listening with family, co-workers, friends and even donors. For example... Donor Offers – No One’s Listening...

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Four Ways to Influence Giving Like Warren Buffett

Four Ways to Influence Giving Like Warren Buffett

Are you the Warren Buffett of your social network? Do others follow your lead giving to the same organizations or in the same way you do? Two weeks ago, I spoke to a community leadership class about giving and philanthropy. We focused on everyone’s personal giving...

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Recent Journal Posts

Sep 08 2021

How a Philanthropy Filter Easily Improves Giving

How does it feel to be a philanthropist today? It might be tempting to assume that question only applies to the wealthy donor who can write large checks year after...
Aug 18 2021

Tips for How One in a Row Can Remake Your Philanthropy

"She's a bookworm," a frequent description used to explain why I didn't hear my mother announce dinner or remind me of chores. As a teen, I occasionally found myself in...
Aug 03 2021

How to Make Nonprofits Jump Up and Down and Shout for Joy

Water, lights, toilet paper, batteries, rent, copy paper, staples, pens, printer cartridges – what do the items on this list have in common? They can all be found...
Jul 20 2021

One Family’s Story of the Work and Reward of Multi-Generational Giving

How did you spend your weekend? Vacation, staycation, trip to the grandparents, just another weekend in July? Some families make time to give together, often at least...
Jul 07 2021

How to Build Lasting Partnerships with the Greatest Impact

This past weekend I had some extra time to read a book that has been patiently waiting for me to pay it some attention…Accidental Philanthropist - A Journey Towards...
May 19 2021

How Honoring a Graduate Models Generosity

Graduations are upon us. They are celebrations for what is ending and for many what’s finally finished.  They are a threshold event with doors opening and paths...
May 05 2021

How Simplified Giving Makes You a Better Giver

If I could be queen of a certain land, it would be the land of Intentional. We would welcome all who love the exploration of ideas to the point of purpose, to be...
Apr 20 2021

Will You Learn to be a Better Giver Over Time?

My childhood memory of the Big Eddy Bridge, now under Lake Palestine, is not accurate. But the memory is real. My brother and I would convince my dad to drive over...
Apr 07 2021

How the Rising Generation Will Revolutionize, then Conflate Philanthropy

A few years ago, we called them the Next Generation. Now, they are the Rising Generation. They are no longer simply waiting their turn; they are rising to the occasion,...
Mar 23 2021

Why It’s Important to Get the Answers You Need Before You Give

Walking into Mr. Anderson’s eighth-grade physical science class on the first day of school, I expected it to be like all the other classes. New teachers, lots of new...

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