Month: December 2014

1 Mistake Family Foundations Should Avoid

A new, large family foundation is about to hire its first executive. The foundation board thinks “any manager”, a bank executive, or a business consultant would be perfectly qualified for the job – no philanthropy experience necessary. Sound familiar? Too often smart and talented people are extraordinarily successful in business, and then fail to apply …

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Clarity Trumps Strategy

I’m a highly organized person, and can spend endless hours creating strategies, with corresponding tactics, timelines and to-do lists. But in my experience, one thing trumps strategy: clarity. You can have all the strategies, logic models, and theories of change in the world, but you won’t get far if you aren’t crystal clear inside your …

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Does Your Grantmaking Initiative Take Initiative?

You’re designing a new philanthropic initiative and you expect results quickly. Which adjectives would you rather described your team? Option 1: Get up and go attitude, energetic, empowered, speedy, driven, inventive, and resourceful Option 2: Unsure, unclear, lethargic, slow, idle, and resistant If you have a pulse, I am guessing you chose Option 1. In …

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4 Stepparenting Lessons for Grantmakers

I’m a stepparent and a stepchild. Apparently I am not alone. A staggering 42% of U.S. adults have a steprelationship–either a stepparent, a step or half sibling, or a stepchild. This translates to 95.5 million adults and doesn’t include all the stepkids under 18. This number is probably actually larger, when you count all the boyfriends, …

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Philanthropy Needs Strategy and Judgment, Not Tools and Tactics

Philanthropy and nonprofit leaders will continue jumping on tools and tactics, when strategy and judgment are needed. That’s the first philanthropy trend I predict for 2015, and I will share four more in the coming weeks. Let me give you a few examples of what I mean: 1 – Infographics: I’m all for finding visual …

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6 Mistakes Philanthropists Make During a Crisis (And What They Can Do Instead)

Don’t let delusional altruism hinder your impact! Learn valuable tips to improve your giving during tumultuous times.