Plus ça change

I hope you’re reading and paying attention to the thoughts of Lucy Bernholz, a fine scholar and thinker about philanthropy in the modern age.

Her blog post from February is something I’ve been meaning to write about for a while, and the Jewish holiday of Passover seemed like a great time to do it.  Her post title (and thesis) is this: Disruptive wealth hasn’t yet disrupted philanthropic forms.

She’s right.  But what does that mean for the practitioner? Read more

The Development Shrink Shopping Guide (for gifts that give back)

‘Tis the season for gift giving.  Of all the invented holidays, I think Cyber Monday is one of my least favorite…but aside from all the hoopla from media folks who think that “hey, people shop online…a lot” is a news story, it’s pretty practical.  I’m not anti-shopping, mostly because I’m very pro-gift giving!

If you’re looking for some ideas, here are a few ways that I get more bang for my own gift giving dollar, giving gifts that are neat gifts but also help support organizations and causes.  You’ll feel like the savviest of all savvy shoppers, and it can often add to the experience for the recipient. Read more

Transcending philanthropy

“Wow.  I can’t believe you of all people fell for something like this.”

I made a personal gift last week.  A small one, and one that went to some individuals – not tax-deductible, no nonprofit involved.  And I let my friends know about it, because that’s how these things work…a plea for help goes out and is distributed globally with a few keystrokes thanks to modern technology.  If many people all give a little, enough money is raised to meet whatever need has been expressed.  That’s the idea of crowdsourcing, and sometimes it’s done through intermediaries, but increasingly, it’s easier to just pool money through a service like Paypal or Kickstarter or YouCaring and see that cash go directly to the human beings who need it. Read more