Five Trends on the Philanthropic Horizon

Next Friday November 21 I will be giving a webinar for Philanthropy Ohio predicting five trends that are likely to affect your philanthropic practice in the next few years. Click here to register! I will write a blog about each trend in the upcoming weeks, so stay tuned. In the meantime I would love to hear your predictions for philanthropy. What trends are seeing? What predictions do you make for 2015 or 2020? Please post them in the comment section below and I will share them in a future blog post. Share

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Who should we follow as we get started on twitter?

This blog was originally published by the National Center for Family Philanthropy on August 15, 2013.  It is reposted here with their permission. We’ve heard a lot about the potential value of Twitter for keeping connected with nonprofits and fellow grantmakers in our community. Do you have suggestions for specific Twitter feeds that our foundation staff and board member may choose to follow as we get started? New to the world of Twitter? Here is a working list of NCFP staff favorite Twitter feeds from experts in the philanthropy and nonprofit world, and NCFP friends and funders to get you started. If you’re active on twitter and think you should be listed here, send us a tweet @familygiving and we’ll … Continue reading Who should we follow as we get started on twitter?

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What I Learned About Customer Service from Marriott

Last week I stayed at the Marriott Marquis in downtown San Francisco, and I was blown away by the nonstop, excellent level of customer service I experienced. What I learned is applicable to foundations and consultants, and I want to share six lessons learned with you. 1. Treat everyone like they are important (even when you are busy). This convention hotel must have been booked solid, with a Salesforce convention happening one block down the street. Yet my colleague and I felt like we were the only guests at the hotel. Front desk staff were attentive, friendly, and willing to take extra time to accommodate my colleague, who was on crutches and needed certain room accommodations. All staff were prompt, cheerful, and … Continue reading What I Learned About Customer Service from Marriott

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Increase Transparency by Broadening Your Perspective

This blog was originally written as a guest post for GlassPockets, a blog of the Foundation Center. When funders want to know about a particular issue or have questions about process, they often look first to peers and industry associations for answers. That makes perfect sense—the people who do the same job you do are likely to understand where you’re coming from and have experienced something similar. But if funders stop there, they could be selling themselves short. There are also many people who have expertise on the very issue, process, challenge or innovation that a grantmaker is pondering, but are not employed by a foundation or an industry association. These “knowledgeable outsiders” can have a great deal of valuable … Continue reading Increase Transparency by Broadening Your Perspective

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Delusional Altruism

Foundations pride themselves on the good they do for others; that’s the very nature and culture of philanthropy. However, in my 15 years of experience advising foundations, I’ve found that most foundations suffer from delusional altruism. Delusional altruism is when you are genuinely trying to help people – but paying absolutely no attention to the operational inefficiency and waste that drains grantseekers or your own foundation of the human and financial capital necessary to accomplish these goals. Let me give you three examples: A foundation gives itself five weeks to approve a Request for Proposals (RFP) that it has already written, but gives grantseekers only three weeks to apply. Five different departments within a large national foundation each had a … Continue reading Delusional Altruism

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