Primary Lessons

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[Note: This post was co-published in a slightly edited form in the Chronicle of Philanthropy on February 11, 2020.] I’m a New Hampshire voter, which means that, for this week, at least,…
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The Great Disconnect

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I was speaking with the executive director of a small nonprofit the other day. She mentioned that her board’s major development initiative was to increase the organization’s endowment from $400,000…
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Stress Test

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Fewer and fewer Americans are making charitable contributions, and we need to ask ourselves why. Certainly, economics plays a major role. “Gilded Giving 2018,”a report from the Institute for Policy…
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Plucking

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When a philanthropist pays off the college loans of 400 students, that’s a good thing, right? Absolutely! During his recent speech at the Morehouse College graduation, Robert F. Smith shocked…
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The Vision Thing

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The past few months have seen a dozen or so would-be presidents appear in my community of Concord, New Hampshire. If you haven’t experienced the New Hampshire Primary, I can…
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So, Tell Me About Yourself!

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A few months ago, by a fluke, I found myself sitting at the head table of a fundraising dinner next to the keynote speaker, National Public Radio’s legendary journalist Susan…
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Phony and Corrupt

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There is so much that is good about the charitable world. But simply calling something “charitable” does not make it worthy. Which brings me to two troubling and destabilizing trends:…
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