Category Archives: Philanthropy

Lessons in Collaboration from the Top of a Volcano

Lessons in Collaboration from the Top of a Volcano

I climbed a volcano last week. Let’s face it, you’ve probably done something similar, considering most mountains are merely ex-volcanos, or were birthed through volcanic activity. So “climbing a volcano” is not necessarily a big deal.

Except this particular volcano was alive. Not Mt. St. Helens alive, mind you, but it was hard not to miss the consistent spout of …

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Philanthropy Horror Stories: Donor Intent Gone Wrong

Philanthropy Horror Stories: Donor Intent Gone Wrong

At DonorsTrust, one of the scariest things we see is when a donor fails to set guidelines around their giving, leading to a steady drift away from the donor’s principles after their death. Let’s celebrate Halloween – and, appropriately, All Saints Day – with a guest post highlighting some terrifying betrayals of donor intent.

Anyone who’s given a ten-year-old …

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Outside the Office: The Value of Community

Outside the Office: The Value of Community

I write this at a cruising altitude of 34,000 feet. It’s a familiar and, dare I say, comforting spot. Complaints today about the U.S. airline industry specifically and air travel in general run rampant – overcrowded flights, intrusive security, long lines, lost luggage, frustrated parents (and kids!). I get that.

By the time the twelve months of 2017 wrap up, …

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Transactional to Transformational: Better Giving Experiences

Transactional to Transformational: Better Giving Experiences

When donors are committed to an organization’s solution to improve the world, they often give on with their dollars what they cannot give with their time.

In return, the organization’s staff puts in the time, thus leveraging donor dollars toward those solutions.

Sometimes, though, donors DO need to give of their time. Likewise, it’s ok for an organization to use …

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Giving Your Time: Serving on a Non-Profit Board

Giving Your Time: Serving on a Non-Profit Board

To continue our Expert Giving series, we asked our very own CEO, Lawson Bader, to share his advice on how donors can give of their time by serving on non-profit boards and what that entails. Lawson is currently serving on the board of directors at State Policy Network, Atlas Network, and DonorsTrust. 

I need to lodge a formal complaint. I …

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“Not That Mysterious” -Principled in the Face of Critics

“Not That Mysterious” -Principled in the Face of Critics

Being firmly committed to a set of principles carries a major risk, namely that those who take an opposing view will also oppose you.

DonorsTrust is built on a set of principles anchored around donor intent and the ideals of liberty. Sadly, this means we have critics and detractors. That’s ok. Contrary to the sheltered perspective of certain loud voices, …

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Saving Our Bacon: The Value of Think Tanks & Their Donors

Saving Our Bacon: The Value of Think Tanks & Their Donors

The Allusionist podcast, a great program exploring the hidden side of language, recently aired an episode called “Zillions.” It looked at the frequent use of non-exact counting words like zillion, umpteen, and bajillion. You and I often speak these words when referring to numbers so large it is hard to get our head around them.

Turns out humans have …

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Keeping Donor Intent by Knowing Your Mission

Keeping Donor Intent by Knowing Your Mission

What is the best way to ensure your donor intent is honored?

A new video from the Philanthropy Roundtable suggests that the critical first step is to craft a mission statement for your philanthropy. If you haven’t clearly defined the focus of your giving, how can you expect others to follow through?

The Case for Crafting a Mission

To avoid …

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