Demolish Philanthropic Bureaucracy For Good When it comes to philanthropic bureaucracy, sometimes what we really need is a bulldozer. Read More Your Strategic Plan is About to Fail Strategy most often fails in implementation. With all the effort that went into developing your new strategy and writing your strategic plan, the hardest part is making the darn thing work! Read More 10 Steps to Rapid Strategy Implementation Few philanthropists take the first step toward rapid strategy implementation, and most never cross the finish line. Are you one of them? Read More How To Prepare For These 5 Grantmaking Challenges As a philanthropist, your ultimate goal is to make the world a better place by putting ideas into action and creating … Continue reading Top Ten Articles of 2019
Here’s a failproof way to get stuff done! We have about two weeks left in 2019. Take away weekends and a few holidays, and that’s about seven working days. Right about now many people are feeling: Overwhelmed Panicked Guilty Are you one of them? Are you feeling overwhelmed at the sheer volume of year-end goals still to be met, panicked when you realize how few days are left in the year, and guilty that you didn’t get it all done? You aren’t alone! But you don’t need to feel this way. Ever! Instead of setting annual goals, I advise my clients to get clear on their top 3 priorities, block out time on their calendar to tackle their priorities, and … Continue reading Stop worrying about year-end goals!
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?
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!
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
Have the most impact possible in your charitable giving. If you want to achieve dramatic impact in philanthropy you need to know where you’re going, you need to get there, and you need to know if and when to change direction or find better routes along the way. Here are three conditions to remember: Strategy formulation. Simply put, if you don’t know where you are going you’ll never get there. Formulating your strategy means identifying your desired future – what kind of change do you want to see in the world or what kind of organization do you want to become? Having a strategy is helpful because it provides a framework that allows you to make smart decisions and choices, such … Continue reading 3 Conditions for Dramatic Impact in Philanthropy
Beat it back — or stop it before it even starts! We often hear about streamlining philanthropy — mostly with regard to efforts at simplifying grant applications, approval processes and reporting requirements. Streamlining is great. But when it comes to philanthropic bureaucracy, sometimes what we really need is a bulldozer. Some bureaucratic processes are so ridiculous, they just need to be demolished. Here’s a great example of philanthropic bureaucracy: 300-page board dockets. Imagine the joy on the board members’ faces when they receive those reams of paper in the mail to prepare for each board meeting. Imagine the hours and hours of foundation staff time that went into creating those reams of paper. Now, do you really think that anyone … Continue reading Demolish Philanthropic Bureaucracy For Good
A board member’s job includes staying focused on the big picture. Serving on the board of a philanthropic foundation isn’t just about approving grants. It’s about being a good steward of resources and sharing responsibility for the foundation’s impact. Too often the focus tends to be on board meeting preparation and the efficiency of these meetings. Take a moment to break from the routine and consider asking your foundation CEO these questions to help the organization focus on the big picture. 1. How does this fit within our strategy? Let’s say your CEO announces, “We’re going to engage in a county-wide campaign to increase public transportation.” That sounds like a great idea, right? Who could be against public transportation? That’s … Continue reading 6 Questions A Foundation Board Should Ask Its CEO
Most funders fail at this. Are you one of them? About a year ago I decided to publish another book. I went so far as to write “publish book by year’s end” on a yellow post-it and stuck it next to my computer so that I’d see it every day. And then I let a bunch of other stuff get in the way. Client deadlines, speaking engagements, scheduling camp for my kids. I hadn’t made the book a priority, so nothing happened. A year later I changed. I made the book one of my top three priorities. Then I made a list of the most important things I needed to do to publish it. I blocked out time in my … Continue reading 10 Steps to Rapid Strategy Implementation
Strategy most often fails in implementation. With all the effort that went into developing your new strategy and writing your strategic plan, the hardest part is making the darn think work! Many donors, foundations and corporate giving programs create strategic plans to clarify their philanthropic goals and guide funding decisions. Too often, however, their new strategy doesn’t even get off the ground. Here are five reasons for this: 1. You are exhausted. If you are like most foundations and philanthropists, you have spent WAY too long developing your strategy. Endless meetings, environmental scans, self-assessments, board assessments, finding and engaging a small army of content experts, writing and re-writing the perfect strategic plan document (complete with beautiful graphics and theories of change). … Continue reading Your Strategic Plan is About to Fail