Author’s note: This is the sixth article in a series of 12 describing mistakes I’ve made in building a foundation. My hope is that they are helpful to you in your own philanthropic efforts.
Roots and Wings. My Mom loved this phrase and used it to encourage my brothers and sisters about how we raised our children. She asked that we give them each roots of our example and teaching while being careful to also give them wings when it came time for them to fly.
This thought came back to me when considering how to describe a major mistake our foundation made as we learned to “serve those who serve the poor.” And since our manner of service is to engage, rather than to just provide money, we soon realized the nonprofits we assist became like our children: easy to fall in love with and enable, but difficult to empower. More...
Editor’s Note: In keeping with the Pinker research cited in this month's case study, I'd like to think that the spreading of the message of non-violence through the emergence of ubiquitous media has caused our world to become more peaceful. This message was conveyed early in my life in this song by a band of rock pioneers who went onto commercial success in other bands.
Lyric: "Everybody look what's going down."
Editor's Note: While not a classic case study, as we usually place here, the article below by Seth Borenstein summarizes research and findings from the leading authority on violence, Steven Pinker, with summary facts and figures and some corroborating evidence as well. Perhaps the findings will surprise you as they did me. The quote that captures the point the best is "The decline of violence may be the most significant and least appreciated development in the history of our species.”
Editor's Note: There is an emerging argument for overcoming our ever-expanding polarization of wealth in the USA. It goes well beyond pleas for compassion from "bleeding hearts" like mine. That is, that income disparity is actually bad for our economy. David J. Lynch captures this theory and its principal promoter succinctly for Bloomberg Business Week below.
Editor’s Note: This book serves as a great reminder that we all have something to give, from the smallest donation to starting a non-profit organization. It is a comprehensive look into how to make giving really count, and will inspire and motivate you to think more carefully about all you are doing for others. The book opens with a great quote that guides part of our foundation’s mission of encouraging others to try and make a difference: “A philanthropist is anyone who gives anything – time, money, experience, skills, and networks – in any amount to create a better world.”
“If your non-profit isn't acting with as much energy and guts as it takes to get funded in Silicon Valley or featured on Digg, then you're failing in your duty to make change.”