Funding in short supply for charities focused on women and girls

Charitable support for organizations that serve women and girls is surprisingly deficient when compared with philanthropic giving as a whole. The Women & Girls Index, which measured giving to more than 45,000 U.S. organizations dedicated to women and girls, found that only 1.6 percent of all philanthropic support went to these causes – about $6.3…

Use facts to debunk entrenched myths about philanthropy

Over generations of giving, generous people have developed a wide range of “beliefs” about philanthropy. In fact, many of these beliefs are actually myths. Many beliefs about philanthropy are based on false assumptions or an inaccurate understanding of how contemporary philanthropy actually works. Ultimately, these myths can inhibit giving by discouraging people from believing that…

Philanthropy 2020: Meaningfully impacted by politics, tax law and climate change

As the philanthropic landscape continues to evolve in 2020, expect these meaningful developments. Political fundraising will challenge charitable fundraising. 2020 is likely to be the most-expensive-ever U.S. political campaign year. Billions of dollars will be donated to national, state and local campaigns. It is projected that media spending alone on U.S. presidential and congressional races…

Donate now to ensure free, fair elections in 2020

The 2020 elections promise to be pivotal – in fact, among the most pivotal in memory. The results will shape the future of our communities, our states, our country — and the world – in the short as well as the long term. As President Dwight D. Eisenhower said, “The future of this republic is…

Suffering from seasonal gluttony syndrome?  Here’s a cure.

The winter holidays are right around the corner. Soon, many Americans will gather around the table with family and friends to give thanks for abundant blessings and freedoms as they indulge in a surfeit of delicious traditional foods. Leftovers will last for days. In December, people of different faiths and traditions will celebrate religious or…

In the eyes of business leaders, “social purpose” has replaced “shareholder capitalism”

Nearly 50 years ago, Milton Friedman launched the era of “shareholder capitalism.” At that time, the Nobel-Prize-winning economist admonished American business leaders that their only responsibility was to maximize profits. The world has changed a lot since then – for better and for worse. Some still espouse this theory. According to Friedman and his proponents, social…

Key lessons in strategic philanthropy

Nine years ago, I began working closely with families, family offices, businesses, and public and private foundations. My goal was (and is) to help them achieve greater impact for themselves and their communities through philanthropy. In the years since, the field of strategic philanthropy has evolved significantly. In addition, I’ve learned valuable lessons about what…

Don’t let disaster philanthropy become a philanthropic disaster

Hurricanes, floods, tornados, tsunamis, wildfires, earthquakes, droughts — and more. Such “natural” disasters are happening with greater frequency, many accelerated by our rapidly changing climate. “Man-made” disasters such as shootings at schools, concerts, houses of worship and workplaces are also occurring at alarming rates. All of these events result in loss of life as well…

Philanthropy is the ultimate “risk capital”

The definition of “risk capital” varies greatly depending on context. In the world of private equity, risk capital refers to the funds used for speculative, high-risk, high-reward investments. Depending on the success of the investment, it can either earn spectacular returns or dwindle to a fraction of the initial amount. In the charitable world, venture…

Philanthropy: It’s the best antidote to despair

Many people feel overwhelmed and disheartened by recent events. The media feature a steady stream of mass shootings at schools and houses of worship, terrorism, college admissions scandals, income inequality, global warming, opioid addiction, threats to our democracy, hate crimes, political dysfunction and a general loss of civility. These events, plus others, generate in many…