Blog Archives

What are you doing when you feel most beautiful?

What are you doing when you feel most beautiful?.

A reblog of Jacqueline Novogratz’s post from earlier in November.  Acumen Fund is putting a new face on philanthropy and self-determination.  Funding entrepreneurs for community development all over the globe.  Want to see the highest level of the Golden Ladder of Giving?  This is it . . .

This will touch your heart and give you new perspective.

Making Good Work Online Radio by PhilanthropyPlus | Blog Talk Radio

Making Good Work Online Radio by PhilanthropyPlus | Blog Talk Radio.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011 at 2pm Eastern Time (USA) –LISTEN NOW TO THE ARCHIVED EPISODE

The next episode is titled: Thriving in Times Like These , with our guest Barbara Brown of Cristo Rey Columbus. You will want to tune in to learn how this successful “philanthropic entrepreneur” was able to persuade people to support a high school for under-served youth that had not even been built yet . . . Hear about her methods of successful fundraising – I’m sure you will find Barbara to be engaging and enlightening.

NEW paradigm in giving is actually OLD

The New Paradigm in Philanthropy – it’s really quite old.

In 1630, John Winthrop was sailing west to a new land, America.  He was leaving England to build and lead a new community in a wilderness.  He knew that it would be difficult and would take persistence to achieve the aim of creating a new type of society.  So on the long journey across the Atlantic, he wrote a sermon addressing the ideas of independence and INTER-DEPENDENCE that would be necessary for all to succeed.

In Winthrop’s day, as in ours, he realized that to work for one’s self and one’s family was an important motivator in building community success.  However, he saw peril and “shipwreck” of the local economy and the Massachusetts Bay Colony if the residents did not also work to support each other in mutual generosity . . .

From the conclusion of this sermon:

Now the only way to avoid this shipwreck, and to provide for our posterity, is to follow the counsel of Micah: to do justly, to love mercy, to walk humbly with our God.

For this end, we must be knit together, in this work, as one man.

We must entertain each other in brotherly affection.

We must be willing to abridge ourselves of our superfluities, for the supply of other’s necessities.

We must uphold a familiar commerce together in all meekness, gentleness, patience and liberality.

We must delight in each other; make other’s conditions our own;

rejoice together, mourn together, labor and suffer together,

always having before our eyes our commission and community in the work, as members of the same body.

So shall we keep the unity of the spirit in the bond of peace.

This was the core principle of private philanthropic endeavor in the United States.  It is a voluntary system of working together for a common end.  It is a harmonious cooperation that allows for freedom of choice at all times.  In modern terms, this harmonious cooperation we call a “Mastermind”.

Becoming part of a Mastermind Group means joining together with like-minded people to achieve our aims and goals.  Each person in the group brings something different to the table and each has unique goals. Despite this seeming disparity of talent and desires, they all work toward of a common aim of learning and applying what they learn from each other to achieve success in their individual lives.

As John Winthrop realized in the 17th century, unless we all cooperate and share our tangible and intangible assests, the community will dissolve and our power to do good will dissipate.

Reflect on the economic news  in the past few weeks.  It is not getting better, folks.  The only way for the economy to get better is for each of US to make it better.  But we can’t do it alone.  Stop waiting for someone else to do something – you have unique gifts and talents that are lying dormant.  Those special skills can be developed to help your own situation and that of others.

How to take the first steps in improving your own personal economy:

  1. Join a Mastermind Group (See the MASTERMIND tab of this blog.)
  2. Join the weekly conversation – MAKING GOOD WORK – a radio program dedicated to non-profit excellence and success. (See the RADIO tab of this blog.)

I invite you to explore using a Mastermind Group as a way to build your organization and to MAKE GOOD WORK!

Time Well Spent

Americans always know what time it is, but they never seem to have any . . .

–          Anonymous European

 When I host online Mastermind sessions, I ask two questions:

1)      What do you want most for yourself or your organization?

2)      What are the primary obstacles keeping you from reaching that desire?

 The answers to #1 are inspiring, visionary and noble – and every one distinctly unique.  The answers to #2 are almost always the same:  Not enough time and not enough money.

 Regarding TIME – every day has 24 hours – we all have all there is.  It is not a lack of time that is the obstacle; rather, it is how we are choosing to use that time.

 Regarding MONEY – when you spend your time wisely and strategically (as related to your purpose), the means for accomplishing any aspiration will develop.

 Consider these common uses of time and money:

Activity Your $$ Your Time/Year Your Time/Week
MBA – online from a highly respected University  $89,000 over 2 years 500+ hours 10+ hours
Hiring a non-profit organizational and fundraising consultant  $50,000 per year 100+ hours 2 hours
Attending seminars and executive coaching sessions  $4,000 per year 180 + hours 3.5 hours
Entertainment-          Cable TV

–          Movies

–          Concerts

–          _________


 $ _________

per year

 __________ hours


 __________ hours

ßYou fill in the blanks

  In our Mastermind Groups for Non-profits, we help each other to maximize TIME to raise more MONEY.  While working on an advanced degree, engaging in continuing education and working one-on-one with a coach are edifying pursuits; consider the amount of time and money spent in relation to what those activities can do to help achieve real success.  With Mastermind groups and accountability partners, we have an on-going system for personal and organizational improvement at much lower costs – both in time and money.

 Mastermind Groups are a proven method of time management:  learning how to do more in less time and with less effort . . .  In addition, the Mastermind Groups for Non-Profits add a specific education element focused on the most effective fundraising methods.

 If you are ready to take action and remove the obstacle of  “tempus fugit”, then join us for a sample Mastermind Session . . .  Click on the MASTERMIND tab for more information.

Make a powerful difference

Consider these questions:

What do you really want to accomplish for yourself and your organization?  What are the current challenges preventing you from realizing that vision?

Many of you reading this blog are either on staff at a non-profit or are active in promoting a philanthropic organization as a volunteer or board member.  Despite that, these questions can be challenging.  You are busy doing good work – but are you and your colleagues as effective as you could be?  Are you engaged in frenetic activity or purposeful, planned action? 

What are your board meetings and committee meetings like?  Compare the percentage of time you talk about doing something and the time you spend actually doing it . . .  Are you making the wisest choices for the future of your organization and those you serve?

If you continue on the path you are currently on – will you accomplish your highest aspirations?

By joining a Mastermind group, you can commit a small portion of your schedule each week to dramatic improvement in your situation.  Take a look at the MASTERMIND page of this blog for more information.  The next introductory web call is Monday, July 18, 2011 at 7pm Eastern Time/USA.  Please make plans to join us.

We welcome all those desiring to explore new growth in themselves and their organizations –

regardless of the economy!

But for Ohio State . . .

Very well executed video on Philanthropy in connection with the largest gift ever in university history.  The message is important.  Pay attention especially to Les Wexner’s comments on focused, purposeful philanthropy.  Note also his attitude of appreciation.  The challenge now : don’t let the rest of us become complacent – WE still have a part to play in the legacy.

Personal Note – Les Wexner was the commencement speaker at my graduation from OSU – Friday, June 13, 1986.

Reverence for Life

“Reverence for Life”

These three words guided Albert Schweitzer in all that he did and all that he became. Want to be inspired?  Click on the image to watch a unique documentary on his life. 

(I was especially impressed at how he used his Nobel Prize money to improve the lives of the people he served.)

Raise significant funds in 2011 – and BEYOND

Use the IRA Qualified Charitable Distribution in a special way – you don’t have to sacrifice current donations to build a long-term planned giving progam for your organization!

Take a look at this presentation on – then contact Laura for more information.

The Dignity of Work

 One of my clients, the MCS/TOUCH program was recently awarded a substantial grant to implement a program of community development.  It is a summer work program for young people – helping them take their lives to a new level of growth and exploration.  An essential part of this program, and of all the services at MCS/TOUCH, is to provide employment opportunities.  We have an enormous list of “Pathway Partners” – employers who are willing to give people the opportunity to learn about the positive benefits of a good day’s work.  They are small businesses and non-profit organizations that hire the participants and give them the gift of dignity. These business people are interested in making a profit, for certain.  However, they are also intensely committed to making an investment in the community.  Thank you to all the Pathway Partners!  They are making it possible for people of all backgrounds to get to the level where they are net contributors and do not have to be dependent upon “charity” for their survival. . . .

If you would like to learn how to become a Pathway Partner and jump to the highest level of the Golden Ladder, contact Laura Miller – 614.915.4324 or . . . The summer works! program fully compensates the participant (up to 120 hours).  See:  Pathway Partners wordpress blog

If you are a non-profit and would like to learn how we were successful in this grant process, contact Laura Miller at the phone/email above.  As a reminder, here is the Golden Ladder of Philanthropy:

The Golden Ladder of Philanthropy
By Maimonides

(From Lowest Level to Highest Level)

1. To give reluctantly, the gift of the hand, but not of the heart.

2. To give cheerfully, but not in proportion to need.

3. To give cheerfully and proportionately, but not until solicited.

4. To give cheerfully, proportionately, and unsolicited, but to put the gift into the poor person’s hand, thus creating shame.

5. To give in such a way that the distressed may know their benefactor, without being known to him or her.

6. To know the objects of our bounty, but remain unknown to them.

7. To give so that the benefactor may not know those whom he has relieved, and they shall not know him.

8. To prevent poverty by teaching a trade, setting a person up in business, or in some other way preventing the need of charity.

About the Author – Maimonides (1135 -1204)
Jewish rabbi, physician, Talmudic scholar and philosopher in Egypt.