Category Archives: Current Events

Cultivating Philanthropic Partnerships Will Get Us Through This Season

Cultivating Philanthropic Partnerships Will Get Us Through This Season

It was August the year we moved into our current house. The air was still sticky thick and the foliage a deep-vined green. Two months later, the kaleidoscope of fall’s foliage exploded among our woods, replaced soon thereafter by a particularly icy, cold winter.

When Spring arrived, I discovered I had seven dogwood trees nestled by our rear deck. Azalea …

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Moving From Crisis to Prosperity Is Our Responsibility

Moving From Crisis to Prosperity Is Our Responsibility

The fundamental economic concepts of trade-offs and opportunity costs have been on trial for several weeks. Sadly, our elected officials have found them wanting.

The outbreak of the Covid-19 virus created a health crisis. Federal and state governments’ reactions to this challenge, however, precipitated an economic and financial crisis that will linger past any recovery from or stabilization of the …

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Giving Through Crisis: What Donors Think Now

Giving Through Crisis: What Donors Think Now

I’ve corresponded with many of our donor-advised fund clients over the past few days. Like me and perhaps like you, they are often sequestered in their homes. Some are older and see some value in laying low. Several are adjusting to their pre-teen “coworkers” running around in their makeshift home office. Others are going wildly stir-crazy. All are frustrated and …

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Coronavirus Philanthropy Ideas for the Strategic Giver

Coronavirus Philanthropy Ideas for the Strategic Giver

“I’d be interested in recommendations on civil society responses to coronavirus and markets period. What can I best do to help people in need?”

I received that email last week from one of our Novus Society clients. When emergencies pop up, those of a philanthropic spirit (or who are just generally nice people) try to find ways to be helpful.…

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The SECURE Act’s Impact on Inheritors

The SECURE Act’s Impact on Inheritors

At the end of 2019, President Trump signed the SECURE Act. The SECURE Act changed rules governing inherited Individual Retirement Accounts (IRAs) and other qualified plan distributions. The legislation marks the most substantial change to various retirement accounts in many years, and requires you to rethink who you name as account beneficiaries who might inherit your account or accounts.…

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Giving Tuesday: The Catch-22 of Philanthropy

Giving Tuesday: The Catch-22 of Philanthropy

Every year I dread the Tuesday after Thanksgiving – the day now known as Giving Tuesday.

It’s not that I don’t want to support deserving organizations. Rather, it’s that my inbox and social media feeds are inundated with pleas for assistance. Family, friends, co-workers, and acquaintances apply pressure. I’m overwhelmed by the deluge of requests and, more often than not, …

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Private Giving Lessons from David Koch’s Legacy

Private Giving Lessons from David Koch’s Legacy

Tremendous amounts of ink have been spilled over the recent passing of David Koch.

Writers have expressed quite a range of emotion – he has been deified and vilified. But, love him or not, it is undeniable that he believed in the power of private philanthropy. He gave generously to libraries, the arts, public policy organizations, and hospitals. He started …

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Mocking Philanthropic Motives Doesn’t Help Anyone

Mocking Philanthropic Motives Doesn’t Help Anyone

Life does not always mimic Robert Frost. We should define ourselves less by our regret over a road not taken, than by those moments along our journey when we were t-boned.

I recognize that time has a way of blurring memories’ edges, and in some cases, obliterating them. Historians spend lifetimes discerning hyperbole, exaggeration, and mistaken identity from so-called reality.…

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A Festivus Miracle: Overcoming Funder-Grantee Grievances

A Festivus Miracle: Overcoming Funder-Grantee Grievances

“I got a lot of problems with you people! And now, you’re gonna hear about ‘em.”

And thus begins the traditional Airing of Grievances at the Festivus celebration, a made-up holiday featured in that great sitcom, Seinfeld.

(If you’re already lost or just want a laugh, check out this one-minute video to appreciate the essence of Festivus and the

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