funder

5 Back-to-School Lessons for Philanthropists

It’s back-to-school time across most of the country, and my colleagues and I have all been trading stories of the build up to that first big day. Whether it’s pre-K or high school, there’s always something special about starting out on a new year. New clothes, fresh supplies, seeing old friends and making new ones …

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How to Strike Fear in the Hearts of Grantees

In my experience, few words strike fear in the hearts of foundation grantees like the following, when dropped by a program officer’s lips:  We’re about to start a strategic planning process.  Aarrrgh! Nooooo! I can almost hear the screams of terror here in my top-secret vacation retreat spot. And who can blame them?  A funder …

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What Being Pregnant with Twins Taught Me About Philanthropy

Almost every aspiring mom (and dad) has big plans and preconceived ideas about what pregnancy will be like. You picture the way your life might change, you plan out a nursery, order a crib – it’s pretty straightforward stuff. Straightforward, that is, until you discover you’re having twins. Suddenly, all those plans and preconceptions go out …

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3 Ways to Reduce Labor Intensity

Grantmakers, and their consultants, tend to overcomplicate things. Let me give you two simple examples of how this wastes time and prevents success. First: biweekly meetings. I’ve worked for funders who wanted me to stage biweekly meetings, for groups both large and small. In all cases, the process came before the goal: Each funder decided …

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