Tag Archives: grantmaking

Are You More Than Just Money?

Think about all the assets you can bring to the table to advance your cause. Then deploy them! If philanthropists have anything, they have money. In fact, they have so much money that after taking care of themselves, their family, and their businesses, they’ve determined they have plenty left over to give away to help others. As a philanthropist, whether you earned the money, inherited the money, or you give other people’s money away as part of your job, you have access to wealth. But guess what? You have access to much more than just money. You have a staggering amount of assets you can deploy to help tackle whatever problem you are trying to solve. This includes: Your smarts … Continue reading Are You More Than Just Money?

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One Guaranteed Way to Scare Your Grantees!

Nothing creates heart pounding ghoulish fear in the minds of a grantee like hearing from their funder: “We’re about to start strategic planning.” A funder undergoing strategic planning can put the nail in the coffin for grantees…at least temporarily. Philanthropic strategy development seems to last forever. During this time, and often behind closed doors, the funder might “suspend grantmaking” to “evaluate priorities and approaches.” This leaves nonprofits to wonder if this dark period will lift. And when it does, will the funder still support their organization? Strategy development is important. It helps philanthropists clarify what they want to accomplish. It should lead to change. But it doesn’t need to leave grantees screaming at their desk chairs! You don’t want to … Continue reading One Guaranteed Way to Scare Your Grantees!

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36 Days and Counting…

It’s almost the end of 2019. Have you achieved your year-end goals? If not, don’t despair! You have plenty of time if you act now. Just follow my 3-step process. There are 46 weekdays left between now and December 31. Take away 10 days for holidays and vacation, and you have 36 days left. 36! 36 days to do all that stuff you declared you would do in January. 36 days to meet your end-of-year goals. Feeling a little overwhelmed? Don’t. You can do this! Just follow these three simple steps: 1. Prioritize. What are the top 1-3 things you want to accomplish by the end of the year? These could be professional, personal, or both. Write them down and put … Continue reading 36 Days and Counting…

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10 Questions Every Donor Should Ask Their Wealth Advisor

How to get the most out of your philanthropy. If you are like many wealthy individuals and families, you look to your wealth advisor or family office for help with charitable giving. But you also seek advice and guidance beyond checkbook donations. You need help selecting the best giving vehicle, such as starting a foundation or donor-advised fund. You want clarity on your philanthropic goals. You want to know if you’re having an impact. You need advice on how to involve your entire family in giving, while instilling a philanthropic legacy for generations to come. As a donor, your wealth advisor or family office is a potential resource for philanthropic advice. They already understand your financial goals and are helping … Continue reading 10 Questions Every Donor Should Ask Their Wealth Advisor

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Ask One Question To Save Time, Save Money And Achieve Greater Impact

Change the outcomes in your philanthropic journey. Learning isn’t hard to do, but it must be intentional and continuous. Whatever role you play in philanthropy—be it donor, foundation leader or trustee—in order to make a real impact, you have to ask the right questions. And there is one question that is guaranteed to save time and money and help achieve dramatic results. It’s a simple question, but the answers you receive can help you start out with a sound strategy, change your outcomes and change the way you think about your giving. That question is this: “If you could do it all over again, what would you do differently?” Yes, it’s really that simple. If you ask others that question while … Continue reading Ask One Question To Save Time, Save Money And Achieve Greater Impact

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Free Download and New Book Coming February 2020

Get out of your own way and transform your giving. I recently learned from a client that the first thing she does each day is read a chapter from my award-winning book Confident Giving: Sage Advice for Funders and reflect upon how it relates to her work. She said, “It was helpful to get my mind oriented to where it ought to be. Less focused on tasks and more focused on, ‘Where are we going and how do we get there?’” As a writer and an advisor, I cannot begin to tell you how meaningful it is to hear this. To learn the advice I share in my newsletters and books helps philanthropists be more effective each day is powerful. I can help … Continue reading Free Download and New Book Coming February 2020

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6 Back to School Lessons for Grantmakers

Get excited and be prepared to launch your new initiative. After a long summer of late nights, fun in the sun and a relaxed schedule, families across the country are preparing for kids to get back to school. There’s a lot of build up to that first big day – planning for cooler weather, getting school supplies, buying new clothes, reuniting with old friends, and making new ones. There is a magical sense of anticipation, excitement and butterflies that makes the start of each new school year memorable and special. What potential new friendships will this year bring? What new and exciting things will be learned? Starting the year off right prepares students, teachers and parents alike for a successful … Continue reading 6 Back to School Lessons for Grantmakers

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How to Prepare for These 5 Grantmaking Challenges

Do more than ready yourself for the unexpected. We have been told for most of our lives to prepare for the unexpected—save for a rainy day, have a Plan B and apply to some “safety schools” in case you don’t get accepted by your top-choice university. While being prepared for the unexpected is smart, it’s not as important as being prepared for the expected. As a philanthropist, your ultimate goal is to make the world a better place. To put ideas into action and create change where it is needed. One way to achieve this impact quickly and effectively is to be prepared for the expected. Problems will arise—that’s a guarantee—so you might as well be ready to deal with them. … Continue reading How to Prepare for These 5 Grantmaking Challenges

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Small Donors, Big Thinking

How Small Investors Can Change the World “Small but mighty” is a phrase we’ve seen applied time and again to describe something that seems too little to notice but that packs a wallop when it comes to impact. A boy named David fells giant Goliath with a single stone. An ant moves a rubber tree plant. The electrons of two hydrogen atoms bond with an oxygen atom, creating life-giving water. A small funder makes a philanthropic investment that changes the world. It’s entirely possible. Unfortunately, the thing that most frequently holds small funders back is their own belief that they’re too small to make a big difference. In fact, small funders are often well positioned to be the catalyst or … Continue reading Small Donors, Big Thinking

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Are You Running in Circles or Making an Impact?

Follow a program development life cycle to achieve the greatest funding impact. Our society focuses on getting things done. Check the box. Scratch it off the list. Move on to the next thing. But when it comes to making lasting change, funders should think of their work in terms of a cycle, not a linear progression. This doesn’t mean funders should run in circles, but they should realize that impact comes from a “life cycle” approach to developing and launching grantmaking programs and funding initiatives. The same process can be applied to funders. I call this the Foundation Program Development Life Cycle, and I have identified its six stages. Stage One: Plan Think about what you want to accomplish, then … Continue reading Are You Running in Circles or Making an Impact?

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