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YP Journal

5 Secrets to Donor Happiness

5 Secrets to Donor Happiness

I love the colors of early spring. They make me happy, lift my spirits and make me want to share my happiness. Here’s how you can be happy, experiencing pleasure and contentment. Warning donors, it requires spending. It requires giving of and beyond ourselves. If you...

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Entrepreneur or Artist, Be True to Your Giving Spirit

Entrepreneur or Artist, Be True to Your Giving Spirit

News flash: Nonprofit organizations seldom have concrete goals, measurable outcomes or a precise strategic plan which can be relied upon by the donor to make safe, highly impactful and targeted gifts. Only the tiniest percentage of donors can be sure their charitable...

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The Exploring Donor…to Learn More and Give Better!

The Exploring Donor…to Learn More and Give Better!

When does a question matter? Of course, that leads to what questions matter and to whom do they matter? Recently, I had the opportunity to help a donor think through the critical questions that needed to be answered by a nonprofit organization in hopes of a...

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Pockets Carry What We Care About. What’s In Your Pockets?

Pockets Carry What We Care About. What’s In Your Pockets?

Pockets carry what we care about, cash, change, credit cards, keys and cell phones. Pockets are hiding spots for nervous hands, little boy’s rocks and Littlest Pet Shop pets. As a child, my brother carried rocks in his pockets and my granddaughter today carries...

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How Will Political Change Impact Your Giving? 

How Will Political Change Impact Your Giving? 

In the early eighties, as a very young nonprofit executive director, I experienced the impact of political change or rather the impact of the predictions of change. President Reagan was inaugurated in 1981. Tax reform winds were blowing strong. It took until 1986 for...

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Look, Listen and Learn for Better Giving This Year!

Look, Listen and Learn for Better Giving This Year!

I don’t remember this for a fact, but I have it on good authority from author Robert Fulghum that the first word I learned from the Dick and Jane books of my first class reading circle was LOOK. It’s a very simple four letter word but has layers of meaning. To look at...

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The Power of a NextGen Giver: Steven Rogers

The Power of a NextGen Giver: Steven Rogers

Steven Rogers is a nextgen giver raised in Tyler, Texas, in a family that is serious, but quietly active in the giving community. Today he works as a business consultant and has been working with clients both in the U.S. and Mexico. When he was in his senior year at...

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How Giving Traditions Glue Generations Together

How Giving Traditions Glue Generations Together

A large wooden crate seemed to hold all the decorations needed for the Christmas tree trimming I remember from my childhood. My dad would produce the crate each year, and my mother would supervise the opening and unpacking. The box held all kinds of treasures -...

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Changed By A Glimpse Through A Donor’s Eyes

Changed By A Glimpse Through A Donor’s Eyes

As an executive director of a newly formed nonprofit, I had a lot to learn and I knew it. My passion far exceeded my experience level. I needed help so I reached out to someone I had heard was the best friend and resource a nonprofit could ever have, Dawn Franks. I...

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The How of Humble Inquiry–Dawn Style          

The How of Humble Inquiry–Dawn Style          

When a reader takes the time to comment on something I've written it gets my attention. Did I hit my target or miss it all together?  Then there are comments like the one Phedra Johnson recently left on “The Benefits of Humble Inquiry between Donors and Nonprofits."...

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Do You Want To Become A More  Effective Donor?

Do You Want To Become A More Effective Donor?

It's the chicken and egg dilemma. Which came first, the effective donor or the effective organization? In 2010 British researchers announced they solved the chicken and egg problem that dates back as far as Aristotle. They reported the chicken must have come first...

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The Benefits of Humble Inquiry Between Nonprofits and Donors

The Benefits of Humble Inquiry Between Nonprofits and Donors

Are we speaking the same language? Seriously, when a nonprofit says here’s a list of items our organization most needs are you moved to make a phone call and take something off the list? When a donor says “I’m excited about what you do and would like to learn more,”...

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The Power of Storytelling and Your Children’s Legacy

The Power of Storytelling and Your Children’s Legacy

Storytelling is a skill we learn very early in life. Before we can read and write; we make up stories. We entertain ourselves and others with our stories, and we fill in gaps for what we don’t know. As a child, I regularly used the three blocks from home to school to...

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Ask a Fellow Donor About Their Giving Experiences

Ask a Fellow Donor About Their Giving Experiences

A thread of embarrassment runs through donor stories. So much so that donors seldom share their giving experiences. For some it’s about too little to give, others too much too late. Other stories hint at long-held family beliefs that it is shameful to talk about...

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Let’s Explore and Discover Your Personal Giving Recipe

Let’s Explore and Discover Your Personal Giving Recipe

It’s just me and the pinto beans. Whether dry or fresh, one spice or five, quart pan or crock pot – all have been a part of my quest for a recipe with just the right flavor. Even after many years of cooking, tasting and testing I haven’t’ nailed it.  I’ve studied...

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What My Nonprofit Friend Wishes Donors Knew

What My Nonprofit Friend Wishes Donors Knew

I have a friend who served as the chief fundraiser at several different nonprofit organizations. Recently, he penned an open letter to donors to share what feels like a divide between nonprofits and donors.  He posed the question, "Is there a way around what seems...

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Why Does Nonprofit Duplication Exist?

Why Does Nonprofit Duplication Exist?

He was sitting across from me at the conference table. Excitedly describing the idea he had for a new nonprofit there was hardly time for a breath between sentences.  Not wanting to pour cold water on his idea I sat back and listened. Finally, there was a pause, and I...

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Every Hometown USA, We Have Work To Do!

Every Hometown USA, We Have Work To Do!

It happened several times before I left on a trip recently. Visiting with friends the subject of vacation would inevitably come up leading to my answer that I would be going to Orlando on Memorial Day. It was met with smiles and comments like “what fun…., we had a...

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Tips to Make Safe and Effective International Gifts

Tips to Make Safe and Effective International Gifts

The time difference is eight hours between Tyler and Rome. For several days, we were on long distance phone calls and emailing back and forth in an attempt to make an immediate international crisis donation. A passionate and deeply concerned donor was searching for a...

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Best Donor Responses to Charity Alarms

Best Donor Responses to Charity Alarms

The alarm, blinking lights and a voice loudly announcing we should vacate the building immediately interrupted what had up to that moment been a productive morning.  The unwelcome interruption to my work flow caused all manner of mental acrobatics. My first reaction...

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Four Ways Saying No Leads to a Better Yes

Four Ways Saying No Leads to a Better Yes

You’ve begun to think of yourself as a philanthropist, a donor to causes and organizations you care about.  You know others see you as a philanthropist because overnight your mailbox has filled with fundraising letters, newsletters and invitations to events. You’re on...

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What to Do When Overhead Meets Mission

What to Do When Overhead Meets Mission

When the board president called and asked to drop by later in the day to go over the proposed budget I didn’t think much about it. When he arrived his copy of the budget had a column of neatly written numbers all the way down the page. I had a sinking feeling I was in...

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Five Reasons to Trust the Next Generation

Five Reasons to Trust the Next Generation

Most mornings you can find me walking early with my dependable old dog and two curious cats. Yes, the cats do go with us on the walk. It is quite the sight! Watching them interact one day, I realized you can trust the next generation. I’ll explain. I’ve wondered more...

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5 Keys to Build Teamwork in Family Giving

5 Keys to Build Teamwork in Family Giving

Henry Ford said “Coming together is a beginning. Keeping together is progress. Working together is success.” I know Henry was referring to building cars but that quote also holds the keys to a sustainable blend of family and philanthropy. Success depends on teamwork...

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3 Clues to Discover Your Giving Calling

3 Clues to Discover Your Giving Calling

I read a blog post by Jeff Goins and reflected on his challenge to find my calling.  It’s a big challenge for sure, and after thinking about it for a while I drifted toward finding my calling in giving. In essence, my giving calling is the “one big thing” I want to...

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Small Business Philanthropy ROI

Small Business Philanthropy ROI

From micro loans and businesses to downsizing and tiny homes, small has captured our attention. Small businesses are a staple of any community. According to the Small Business Administration website as big business eliminated jobs small businesses grew adding more...

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The Donor Joy Recipe

The Donor Joy Recipe

Donor joy is elusive. If there’s a recipe for donor joy it is hard to find. In my experience the donor tries to get there by throwing a little of this and a little of that into the bowl, leaves out critical ingredients, and doesn’t bake it long enough. The entire time...

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Philanthropy Partnerships Create Better Community

Philanthropy Partnerships Create Better Community

In every community there are examples of philanthropy partnerships. It is partnership between philanthropy, business, government and the people that creates better communities. They come together to accomplish what matters. From Philanthropy Partnerships to Parking In...

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When Giving Matters Answer Two Questions

When Giving Matters Answer Two Questions

Giving matters, so what's the most important question you should answer? Your answer to WHY is important. Simon Sinek, author of the bestseller, Start With Why, has turned that simple, three letter word into a very deep well. He started digging the well with a sharp...

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For the Sake of Others

For the Sake of Others

The words of Albert Einstein remind me that no matter how much I've accomplished, how much I've given of my time, my money and my wisdom it will never be finished. In this famous quote he said "we are here for the sake of others." “Strange is our situation here upon...

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Think. Plan. Do in 2016.

Think. Plan. Do in 2016.

Add one thing.....write donation checks. Think. Plan. Do in 2016.   Do you find yourself writing most of your donation checks in December? Do you know why?  Here are answers most of us would have to that question: I like to wait until all the requests come in so I can...

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Philanthropy Changes the World

Philanthropy Changes the World

Philanthropy Day events are taking place all over the country. National Philanthropy Day is both an official day – officially celebrated November 15 this year – and a grassroots movement about the importance of philanthropy in our world. I love their tag line. “Change...

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Add Trust and Respect To Giving

Add Trust and Respect To Giving

Disappointment The conversation was right after Thanksgiving. The topic was Thanksgiving dinner at the Salvation Army Lodge.  There were questions about whether everyone who came through the line was really in need; evidently several were overdressed for a free meal...

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Philanthropy and Putting First Things First

Philanthropy and Putting First Things First

Like a lot of kids in the sixties I walked to school. My walks were full of imaginary stories I created with complete dialogues for all the actors. I still create imaginary stories. This one involves Stephen Covey, philanthropy and one of his famous phrases, putting...

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Find Donor Partners at Fundraiser Events

Find Donor Partners at Fundraiser 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 mind. Now before you...

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Give Philanthropically AND Make a Difference

Give Philanthropically AND Make a Difference

Why should you give philanthropically and strive to make a difference?  You have to think about it for a minute to catch the importance of  the "and" word. And it is very important. In our philanthropy we often assume we're making  a difference. We take the idea of...

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My Philanthropy or Your Philanthropy?

My Philanthropy or Your Philanthropy?

Here’s how it happens time after time. Someone I haven’t seen for a while asks me how my new business is going? Then they often follow it with “What’s the name again? My Philanthropy?” I always smile and say with emphasis “no, it’s Your Philanthropy.” What often...

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Philanthropy Zones Need Better Signs

Philanthropy Zones Need Better Signs

Did you know philanthropy zones are easy to miss? They lack clearly marked signs. Sometimes philanthropy zones have signs but they are confusing. It's like the school zone I drove through this week. It's really two overlapping zones - one a public middle school, the...

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Philanthropy Changes: How The Next Generation will Operate

Philanthropy Changes: How The Next Generation will Operate

In honor of “The Dog Days of Summer” let’s talk about a new opportunity to be philanthropic and entrepreneurial at the same time. For a $20 donation you can support the start-up of Silidog Silent Tags. It’s the best kind of opportunity – a way to make life better for...

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How to Grow Young Philanthropists

How to Grow Young Philanthropists

A Young Philanthropist Begins We asked a group of kids between the ages of eight and thirteen to come up with ideas to donate their own money. Two nine year old boys (an important element of the story) put their heads together in serious and silly discussion. When it...

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4 Questions Lead to a Better Gift

4 Questions Lead to a Better Gift

The weather man predicted 100 degree days are on the horizon. It’s too hot here in Texas for most outdoor activities unless you’re heading for water. It’s hard to even find a breeze. My solution is early morning walks before the thermometer starts climbing. Then I...

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Give the American Way

Give the American Way

She waves proudly in the wind. As I drive down neighborhood streets evidence of our patriotism is most on exhibit between June 14 and July 4. Our Flag stands proudly in front yards next to mailboxes and flies from porches, street after street. As a young teen living...

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Four Tips to Donate Fast and Well

Four Tips to Donate Fast and Well

Flash philanthropy is here. Also known as crowdfunding, it’s an email or a social media request followed by an immediate and overwhelming urge to say yes, add the credit card and hit send. Will the emotion be enough to trigger digging out the credit card? Will the...

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Encouraging Your Grad’s Brand of Philanthropy

Encouraging Your Grad’s Brand of Philanthropy

If one of the first words out of a toddler's mouth is no, then why is fast behind it. Parents spend a lot of time fielding innocent why questions from children and in later years the frustrating and demanding why questions from teenagers. By the time they graduate...

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Start Now and Create a 100 Year Family

Start Now and Create a 100 Year Family

How deep and how wide is a family? For genealogy buffs it’s a look back in time. Let’s look forward and create a 100 year family. What would that look like? What would we have to do today to make it happen? The 100 year family spans generations. In my case, one branch...

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Google Can’t Answer Every Question

Google Can’t Answer Every Question

I just read that effective people usually ask good questions - not just of others, but of themselves. Then I read this, “Life is a big question that even Google can’t answer.” I don’t know who said it, but it’s the right quote for this fast paced internet-driven world...

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Cares a Whole Awful Lot

Cares 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. Giving to the causes you care “a whole awful lot about” should be easy. It should...

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Giving is a Business Matter

Giving is a Business Matter

Let’s talk about how giving can be an important part of the WHY of buying. Author Simon Sinek says “People don’t buy or give to WHAT you do or HOW you do it, they buy or give to WHY you do it.” Once you open this door and include giving in your WHY you need to know...

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Follow That Apple

Follow That Apple

Who is going to buy the new Apple Watch? Short answer - the next-gens.  They are known as Gen X and Y, can still read small print, and they're younger than me. They are learning new technologies rapidly and integrating them into their lives. Their brains are...

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Why Talk About Your Money?

Why Talk About Your Money?

What does your money look like? It used to be green paper and change in our pockets, then paper turned to plastic and now it looks an awful lot like my iPhone. More than ever before the “medium is the message”. How we define money - share, spend, or save it – makes us...

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Kids Can Change the World

  When asked what he would invent to change the world he asked for a pass so he could think about it. When we came back to him he laughed, put his head on the table, giggled and then announced “I would invent a flying hot-dog machine to feed the homeless.” We all...

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Just my Opinion

Just my Opinion

May I call myself an expert based on 33 years experience? That's what my opinions are based on - years working in and with nonprofit organizations, and many experiences with donors. I'm going to take the risk and share a couple of opinions. I hope you'll respond with...

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The Spirit of the Gift

The Spirit of the Gift

In my memory he is always sitting. My grandfather could be found in his chair at the end of the kitchen table, behind the steering wheel of his old truck, in the caboose of a Cotton Belt train, and sometimes a top his favorite Appaloosa horse.  When he wasn’t riding a...

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Four Lessons From Many Puzzles

Four Lessons From Many Puzzles

My work this year can be described as many different puzzles. Whether it was a family, a business, or a foundation fitting all the pieces together was as easy as it was hard. Every puzzle was different, and finishing was rewarding. Giving puzzles are more frequent...

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Giving Stories Create Family Legacies

Giving Stories Create Family Legacies

Family legacies grow from stories. I've witnessed it first hand. Last year I spent time with a family mulling over a family gift in honor of grandmother.  Grandmother had been involved with several organizations, so the family sorted through various ideas about what...

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Give Together, Learn Together

Give Together, Learn Together

Will the next generation give as much as their grandparents and parents? Which generation is “the next generation”? The answer is relative, isn't it? Every generation wonders about the one that follows.  Baby Boomers have been wondering about Generation X and they are...

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A Family Experience

A Family Experience

I could call it the best family counseling we ever paid for. We weren’t there for family counseling, but if functioning better as a family is a fringe benefit who’s going to complain, right? We turned to Dawn Franks for some good old-fashioned advice on how to be...

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Four Ways to Think Small, But Give Big

Four Ways to Think Small, But Give Big

I was reminded recently to stop and think small.  You may ask what happened to think big, dream big, be a part of something big? For just a few minutes, or a small amount of your time, reflect with me on how small can impact your giving in a big way. To Think Small is...

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Build Your Own Giving Bridge

Build Your Own Giving Bridge

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

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The Godfather was Wrong

The Godfather was Wrong

I've been thinking a lot about business and philanthropy lately.  Why would a business spend any of their valuable time focused on something other than making a profit? Could being involved with a nonprofit actually make the business better somehow? I've recently been...

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Three ways to Explore

Three ways to Explore

A donor asked me if I was familiar with the organization USA Cares? The donor is very interested in supporting their efforts through the Texas Chapter. Since I didn’t know about the organization I immediately turned to GuideStar to do a quick check of their tax status...

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A Plain Answer Will Do

A Plain Answer Will Do

The question was posed this way. “The next time you write a column would you answer a question from “a little old lady?” Now without going into a lot of detail I know this “little old lady” quite well.  Let’s just say she probably knows me better than I know myself....

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The Path Below Giants

The Path Below Giants

Would you follow a path into woods unknown below giant trees? I would follow that path. You see I love trees and I love to follow a path to see where it goes. I’m at a place like that right now.  I have no idea where my new path with Your Philanthropy will lead.  I...

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Philanthropy from Within

Philanthropy from Within

“The desire to engage must come from within.” These words came from Azim Premji, chairman of the Indian global technology company, Wipro. Premji was the recipient of the Economic Times Life Achievement Award in 2013. In his acceptance speech he also said “philanthropy...

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Why is it so HOT?

Why is it so HOT?

It’s July! What comes to mind? Vacation, swimming, Barb B Q, fireworks, family, baseball. Ok, what would you add to the list? It really is that time of year that can be jam packed with activities just like another time of year – yep, Christmas time.  In fact I just...

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Summer of Generosity

Summer of Generosity

During the last month I had conversations with two different mothers, one with average family resources, and one with significant resources.  In spite of differences they had one desire in common. Both mothers hope to raise generous children. Both mothers have...

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At the Corner of Happy and Healthy

At the Corner of Happy and Healthy

Happy should describe the way you feel about serving on the board. Healthy should describe the organization. Your time on the board shouldn’t feel like a six year prison sentence, looking through the bars of early interest and well-intended commitment. You remember...

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From Best First to Next Best Gift

From Best First to Next Best Gift

Please allow me to refer to the donor as HT. “HT said I made a commitment to help"; then later said "I follow through on my commitments." Finally, HT said "I know they need my help to make this idea happen.” Three critical statements made during an hour-long...

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Nearly Spaces

Nearly Spaces

I'm nearly moved into new office space. That project is nearly completed. Not long ago I even heard myself tell another person "I have nearly decided and would get back with them." Right now there is more nearly in my life than I like. I'm transitioning into new...

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Finally, answers to my questions….

Finally, answers to my questions….

She’s almost here.  We’ve been talking about Thayer Willis joining us for Dessert and Coffee for a discussion on intergenerational wealth for months.  In spite of an unexpected weather event in March that kept her plane from arriving and the rest of us keeping warm at...

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Name That Fundraiser!

Name That Fundraiser!

Quick – name the last fundraiser you attended. Good music, friends, a fun auction, or a healthy walk through tree lined streets. Were there any nagging questions? How will they use the money raised? How much will be left over after the event expenses are paid? Am I...

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Mistakes in Full View

Mistakes in Full View

Is there anything more humiliating than making mistakes in full public view? Frankly it frustrates me when mistakes happen for all to see. It happened recently when I posted the YP Journal only to discover it wasn’t working correctly.  I immediately received emails...

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Inside Outside Information

Inside Outside Information

I’ve had occasion over the years to be involved in a number of giving decisions that didn’t work out as expected.  Results  we hoped for didn’t materialize.  Occasionally, part of the grant was returned if it had not all been spent. In spite of the frustration, the...

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Walk and Talk Generosity

Walk and Talk Generosity

  I have a distinct memory at ten years old asking my mother at what age I could marry.  Her answer was not an age; it was graduate college first. That’s the first time I remember knowing a lot of plans would have to wait until after college. At the time neither...

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Describing Wealth

Describing Wealth

Is it a large pile of money, possessions, or investment portfolios? Our upcoming March speaker, Thayer Willis, describes it this way: “Let’s say the family has a big pile of money and a trail of broken relationships; nobody working or family members doing work that...

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Best Birthday Gift

Best Birthday Gift

Guest Post by Cathy Krafve Diamonds. Golf clubs. Pearls. Chocolates. Cowboy boots. What is the best birthday gift you ever received? Until last fall, I would have answered my favorite gift was a pair of black lizard skin boots that my husband gave me years ago. Of...

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Who is You

Who is You

One of the things I hear most often these days since announcing Your Philanthropy is spinning off to become its own philanthropic consulting firm is, "I’m so excited for you...now explain again exactly what you’ll be doing?" The question usually can be interpreted to...

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Yes, I Love This Work!

Yes, I Love This Work!

Dawn Franks closed a chapter in a 33-year career of working with nonprofits, foundations and companies when she left Fourth Partner on December 31, 2013. She is spinning Your Philanthropy, a service developed in 2013 under the Fourth Partner umbrella, into a private...

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The Fifty-Dollar Bonus

The Fifty-Dollar Bonus

Yes, the year is winding down. If you’re like me you’re still rushing around trying to accomplish a few more things on this year’s list before taking a deep breath for a day or two. If giving year-end bonus checks to employees is on your list, you might want to check...

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Giving Traditions Create Family Glue

Giving Traditions Create Family Glue

I just measured the stack of letters from various charities seeking funding that has arrived in the last few weeks, and it’s two inches tall. That’s enough to create a Scrooge moment if there ever was one, but if your style is to tackle the stack and get it done as...

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Fred Smith: Obstacles or Opportunties

Fred Smith: Obstacles or Opportunties

As a percentage of all charitable giving in the United States ($316 billion), the religious sector continues to collect the lion's share - 36 percent. While that is considerably less than the 50 percent of religious giving represented 10 years ago, it is still true...

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Fred Smith: The First Leaf of Fall

Fred Smith: The First Leaf of Fall

The Velvet Revolution, or Gentle Revolution, was a non-violent, student-led revolution in Czechoslovakia that took place from November 17 to December 29, 1989. Dominated by student and other popular demonstrations against the one-party government of the Communist...

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SMART and Faith-Based

SMART and Faith-Based

When is faith-based giving smart?  According to Gray Keller, a self-described thinker, author and philanthropist, “It can be the beginning of a journey of a lifetime.” He recently wrote about what he describes as “SMART Giving for the Community of Faith.”  I’ve used...

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Gift-Giving Advice for Children

I heard a great story last week. A father told me that his young daughter had asked if she could adopt a child in another country and his reply was something like, “Oh honey, the organizations that say they do that are just scams, and the money doesn’t really feed the...

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Five Tips for a Better Family Conversation

“We need to talk to our kids about some of our philanthropy decisions, but we’ve never had those kinds of talks before. It’s all in our will, but we haven’t shared it with them.  I think we’re late, but when is late too late? We don’t know where to start.” You may...

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Fred Smith: My Fair Lady

In 1931, Judge Sam Lindsey donated a plot of land on South Broadway to the Tyler Women's Forum for their new building - the Tyler Woman's Building - with the stipulation that the building be completed within one year. That was quite a challenge in 1931, but it was...

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Ready, Set, Go!

Ready, Set, Go!

As a kid, I can remember the excitement of lining up at recess to begin a race and the teacher saying those exact words, "Ready, Set, Go!"  We were all supposed to take a moment at the chalked starting line to get ready, set our tennis shoes in the most advantageous...

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When is Late Too Late?

When is Late Too Late?

That was the question she asked me in a casual conversation recently.  It started as the common “how are things going?” conversation. She asked about our organization's name change again, "Your something?"  I reminded her it was "Your Philanthropy" and things were...

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Fred Smith: It’s a Conspiracy

Fred Smith: It’s a Conspiracy

Like most of the people reading this, I have more than enough meetings. So, when someone calls and says they want to get together, I have learned to ask a few questions ahead of time. I should have asked more questions about my meeting this week with Steve Smith. I...

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Changing Leadership, Changing Gifts

Changing Leadership, Changing Gifts

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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Fred Smith: Mailbox Money

Fred Smith: Mailbox Money

My family moved to Tyler in 1984, and I almost immediately began teaching a Bible study that had been going for 20 years. The couples had begun as young parents and kept meeting weekly through all the stages of raising children and seeing them go off -  and then...

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Another Side of Why

Another Side of Why

The eraser came hurling directly at me. I had just asked my favorite professor if he could explain the concept he was teaching in our summer statistics class one more time. The concepts were challenging for me, and my professor lost patience with my continual...

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Maxi Anderson: A Millennial Perspective

Maxi Anderson: A Millennial Perspective

Note: Maxi Anderson, 18, is a recent graduate of All Saints Episcopal School and is an incoming freshman at the University of Oklahoma. She is part of the Generation Y/Millennial age group, which is loosely identified as being born after 1979. We asked Maxi to write...

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The Next Generation of Givers: Steven Rogers

The Next Generation of Givers: Steven Rogers

Steven Rogers was raised in Tyler, Texas, in a family that is serious, but quietly active in the giving community. Today he works as a business consultant and has been working with clients both in the U.S. and Mexico. When he was in his senior year at Wheaton College...

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The Proof Is In The Pudding

The Proof Is In The Pudding

At a family reunion this past weekend, I learned my father used to pay his younger siblings a nickel for their chocolate pudding when he came home on military leave. He loved chocolate pudding, and I was raised on it – the homemade kind my mother cooled down in a...

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Fred Smith: Inheritance

Fred Smith: Inheritance

When my father died I was named the executor of the estate. While I had read through some articles on the subject, I was not prepared for the actual work required of me for the next full year. I could not have imagined the complexity involved and the maddening...

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Fred Smith: The Land of Opportunity

Fred Smith: The Land of Opportunity

Kyle Penney at the East Texas Communities Foundation has created an interesting and insightful study of the transfer of wealth that is going on in East Texas and will last for at least the next 50 years. While the total transfer in the United States is in the...

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The Overhead Question

The Overhead Question

Once when I worked at the East Texas Crisis Center, I received a call from a potential donor named Ray who had been referred to us by friends while playing golf. Ray was new in the area and wanted to visit with me and learn more about the Crisis Center. At that point...

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No Secret Recipe

No Secret Recipe

Wouldn’t it be great if you could go online and find a recipe for effective philanthropy that resulted in the perfect gift every time? It would be wonderful to do away with the anxiety of not knowing if your gift accomplished what you hoped for - or even worse - the...

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Recent Journal Posts

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...
Mar 10 2021

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...
Feb 23 2021

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...

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