The Association of Fundraising Professionals conference in Chicago this month, featured celebrity philanthropists, Queen Latifah, who opened the conference and former President Bill Clinton, the closing speaker. Each addressed philanthropy and its power to change lives and societies and how critical stewardship is for our local and global communities.
Margaret and I had the honor of being President Clinton’s warm up (ok, ok, said tongue in cheek). But- we were the last session , on the last day, scheduled just before his presentation. Talk about pressure; a room full of people who wanted to get seats up close and personal, we expected a mad dash 1/2 through our presentation. Luckily- more than 3/4 of the room stayed till we finished.
And some of the comments reflected we succeeded…
Great information, especially comments on women’s generosity.
- Kelly C
Thanks for the tips on how to work with Boomers in a more business like way.
- Kristin M
- Patrick R
Refreshing to hear about women and legacy.
- Ulrica J
Thank you for the data on how to connect with women across generations.
- Peggy H
Loved the points about TLC: Trust, Leverage,Capital and how Boomers questioned everything and still do…
- Lauren C
Really enjoyed tandem speakers and audience involvement.
- Frankie P
Thought provoking, insightful and enjoyable presentation.
- W. Ooby
Learned a wealth of new data on Boomers.
- Rachel O
Wow! Fantastic, well paced, informative and reflective.
- Sue G
This is so relevant to my work.
- Yolanda H
So who knows we may be hired on to be President Clinton’s warm up in residence!
The hour went quickly, as we summarized a few key points from our new book and the hundreds of interviews we conducted. And so we highlighted American’s generosity, most especially that of Boomers. Consider that this group- 78 million strong- born between 1943 and 1964 , were the first to ever expect health and wealth, who marched, picketed , protested and were jailed for their values- who truly believed they could change the face of the world- and in fact did. And who are one of the largest socio-economic groups in this country with every hour 330 Boomers turning 60,well it is just plain good sense to focus more of our outreach and fund raising efforts on this group.
By 2030 54% of the 57 million Boomers will be women, they are very generous , have a very small number of children and substantial wealth to give away .
And also consider that… key experts from, management guru Tom Peters, who stated “women are the largest national economy on Earth” ; and the Harvard Business Review ” they are in fact a bigger market than China and India combined”, and even the Economist claim, “ women are the most powerful engine of global growth”, we believe it is in our best interests to engage, nurture and keep this formidable group. Over 64.8 million Americans are on line, with over 47% of Boomer women accessing more than one social meda tool- yet too often we are not using these tools to reach out to them as proactively as we could.
Non profits today need to engage their (women boomers) heart and head, get them involved by building trust- and assuring their organizations fully communicate – open kimono style- if they want to connect and collaborate with this power group.We know that folks who volunteer are 2.5 times more likely to donate, yet we often don’t leverage this as we should.
In the time we had , our mission was to acquaint our group with the need to understand a person’s values so we know how to better engage them, to connect fully and to communicate our mission and strategy; that we need to operate from a business modality, yes even as a non profit as Boomer women use accountability and metrics, systemic change and sustainability as a yardstick.
And if we do- we have the generosity of the Boomer woman intent on leaving a legacy- as does my Dallas entrepreneur Boomer friend, Brenda Peyovich , whom we quoted in Women Wealth and Giving…” We, women need to understand that while volunteering time is important, we need to support the causes we believe in with our checks so that we have a seat at the table. Women have a major influence on policy and the more involved we are, the more effectively we can influence decisions that are important to us and our families. By increasing our participation in the competition for ideas, women will continue to contribute to a better society. It’s our checks that influence and it’s never been more important to open our wallets and give.”
Thank you AFP for the opportunity to be part of an inspiring conference.
Michael J. Rosen and Margaret May Damen
Michael J. Rosen CFRE author of Donor-Centered Planned Gift Marketing and Margaret May Damen CFP, CLU, ChFC (co-author with Niki Nicastro McCuistion of Women Wealth and Giving: The Virtuous Legacy of the Boom Generation ),
display their books at the October 2010 National Partnership for Philanthropic Planning Conference in Orlando, Florida.
John Wiley and Sons, Inc (NY), publishers of Michael ,Margaret’ and Niki’s books, sponsored the “Meet the Authors “ Booth at the 23rd annual conference for gift planners.
The Partnership for Philanthropic Planning is the nationally recognized organization for education and networking of gift planners and allied professional in the financial and legal fields.
Margaret May Damen and Chuck Collins
Chuck Collins, senor scholar at the Institute for Policy Studies (IPS) and director of IPS’s Program on Inequality and the Common Good and Margaret May Damen, CFP, CLU, ChFC ( co-author with Niki Nicastro McCuistion of Women, Wealth and Giving: The Virtuous Legacy of the Boom Generation,John Wiley & Sons, NY, Publisher), discuss the role taxation and philanthropy can play in promoting the common good at the October 2010 National Partnership for Philanthropic Planning Conference in Orlando, Florida.
Chuck Collins is the author of Economic Apartheid in America: A Primer on Economic Inequality and Insecurity and co-author with William Gates, Sr., of Wealth and Our Commonwealth.
We met Laura when we shared a book signing booth at the Baltimore AFP International Conference. Laura was signing her new book: The Ask: How to Ask Anyone For Any Amount For Any Purpose… and we were signing ours: Women, Wealth and Giving. I knew I’d found a kindred spirit. Read more
A recent Harvard Business Review article by, Dan Pallotta, controversial author of Uncharitable, had me engrossed, both nodding yes to and shaking my head no. As a non profit strategist and fundraising consultant I could see his point- but…
Pallotta, wrote the book as a response to media reports about charities that spend $400,000 to raise $1 million; donors who want at least 90 percent of their donation to go toward the cause, and every one in the nonprofit world who doesn’t believe in marketing for fear that donors will consider it extravagant and after all “we’re not a business’. Pallotta pokes holes in the frugal, almost prudish constraints the public expects from nonprofits, everything from bans on paid advertising to substandard wages for nonprofit employees. Yet, if we want the nonprofit sector to do without the successful tactics of the business sector–say, marketing–how can we expect the nonprofit sector to aspire to greatness? How will it ever grow, get results, and reach new supporters? Not only must nonprofits be allowed to use the tools of business to thrive and accomplish their missions, Pallotta believes, the public needs to get over its mistaken fixation on fundraising costs and overhead ratios and paying decent wages. He asks, we consider, “What has the organization achieved, and what can it achieve with my donation?” He offers stat after stat, comparing the costs of fundraising and the accomplishments it results in- and the 8-15% that non profits spend to change the world, compared to the percentages of overall revenue business does, as ludicrous.
According to Dan, “we need a new normal. A complete rethink of what we should be investing in fundraising. If we are serious about the value of human life, then we have to start thinking about 50-100% fundraising costs…Why would I support a cancer organization promoting its low fundraising investment while cancer remains uncured”? He challenges, “What we are doing is just not working. A world in which 10-15% fundraising ratios are the norm is a world in which our charities are woefully too small to confront social problems on any meaningful scale. If we no longer want to live in that kind of world then we need to get used to a new one. Not a 15% world, but a 100% world. And by asking donors a simple question- would you rather feel good about next to nothing getting done, about these social problems persisting into eternity- or would you rather see us eradicate some of these problems in your lifetime?”
Well Dan, to some, those are fighting words. So I thought I’d get a few opinions, to see who agrees or not and started with my colleague and co-author, Margaret Damen, a philanthropic advisor, financial planner, and fund raising consultant, shown here with Dan at a PPP conference she attended and that Dan spoke at- and she had points of both agreement and disagreement. “Non-profits are in fact handicapped because of the restraints placed on them. Yes, it’s unfair as they can’t use all of the tools of capitalism. If you spend too much on fund raising your hands are slapped. Nonprofit staff is often not compensated for success…”
She went on to say, “Non profits, for instance don’t have research development expenses. We’re expected to do our best to change the world often with very little resources. We don’t have the money to get the customers in that business does. Sometimes these restraints undermine our potential and certainly our ability to raise funds to accomplish our mission. But we’re not selling widgets here. We don’t have stockholders who are interested in the profit at the end of the day- we have stakeholders and it’s not about the profit. Non profit folks are not all motivated by the same carrot, and in most cases it’s not about the money, it’s the mission. We can’t compartmentalize and just say we should run ourselves like a business. That’s not what we do. People give to the mission; they’re not buying a product. You can’t compare costs of fundraising to costs of sales. Maybe we need to revisit our model, but certainly not as drastically as Dan suggests.”
The other side of the coin was expressed by Jean Block, President/CEO of Social Enterprise Ventures, Albuquerque. Jean is the author of… Fast Fundraising Facts for Fame and Fortune and The ABC’s of Building Better Boards. Her work: implementing social enterprises in non profits so they have an income stream other than what is generated by fundraising. Jean’s views, “Nonprofits are traditionally so slow to accept and adopt changes, especially in fundraising. It is so much easier to send out the same old messages in the same old way…it is less threatening than being a change leader! However, everything in our world has changed – dramatically – in the past 5 years. Nonprofits have got to get out of ‘charity think’ and into running themselves as tax-exempt businesses…because that is what they are! Applying sound business principles to nonprofit management will reap huge benefits. For example, if every nonprofit did extensive market research and feasibility studies on their current programs and services, I promise many (if not most) would discover, new efficiencies, opportunities to collaborate, to outright discontinuing certain of their programs and services. Habits are hard things to break”!
I asked Jean, “What can n/p do to be more effective fundraisers- given their limitations and the fundraising percentages they are held so stringently to”?
“Here again”, she said, I believe these ‘fundraising percentages” are self-imposed! Nonprofits are out there bragging about their low overhead (and probably computing these numbers creatively to appease their self-imposed guidelines, or to compete with other nonprofits, etc.) I agree with Dan that nonprofits need to educate themselves and then their donors about the successes to be had when more emphasis is placed on solving the problem. Again, most savvy for profit businesses know that in tough times, you need more and more emphasis on sales and promotion. But all too often, nonprofits cut back on the most important sales effort – their development department”
And coincidentally , just as this is ready to go to “press’, a new study, cited in The Chronicle of Philanthropy, addresses this very same issue re the costs of fundraising(Sept. 14, 2010). “Nonprofits are under relentless scrutiny for their fundraising costs,” notes Heart of the Donor study author Lisa McIntyre. “The questions on costs tell us that what donors want more than anything else is value for their money. Spending money on salaries is fine, as long as your leaders are effective. If you spend more on fundraising, it’s fine as long as it effectively raises more money for the work.”
The article goes on to say,”Many surveys and donor comments portray people as wanting organizations to spend less money on fundraising (if they spend anything at all). However, when asked about fundraising costs in terms of impact, donors clearly favor spending more to make more.
According to a survey conducted in June, people are almost twice as likely to be on the side of spending a lot to bring in a lot as compared to spending little to bring in little. Where organizations may be lacking is making sure donors understand value, rather than just perceiving expense.
People also want to give to charities that spend money on good management. Given a choice, the respondents preferred organizations that hire top-quality managers, even with higher salaries, over hiring less experienced managers and spending fewer dollars on salaries.
An even greater percentage would rather support an organization that spends more on fundraising and brings in more money to help the cause than would support an organization that spends little on fundraising but raises less money. Only 28 percent would opt for efficiency over effectiveness”.
Considering the times, perhaps we should be paying heed to what the article has to say, and maybe Dan’s fighting words aren’t so far-out after all. It’s not easy… to meet your mission when the investment you are allowed to make in fundraising is so low; eventually, if there is little or no money coming in, there is little or no program going out! I think that every nonprofit should carefully examine their revenue sources and diversify as much as possible. Social Enterprise, or earned income, is becoming more accepted in the nonprofit environment. Launching a successful social enterprise requires a nonprofit to learn and apply sound business principles such as market research and feasibility studies, costing analyses, sales planning and business planning. When applied to total nonprofit agency management, these skills will strengthen the entire organization!
Dan’s article and book has sparked some heated debate in the non profit world and that’s not all bad. In fact as, the Chronicle article; Margaret and Jean have mentioned, non profits need change and new models if they are to continue serving on the level they need to in the future.
Thanks for joining us. We’d very much like to hear your views and keep the conversation going.
Philadelphia and the work Tracy Gary so elegantly led with Inspired Legacies ,was not just about philanthropy, economics and philanthropic advising, it was also about getting to know each other and having fun. So when team member Jason Franklin said he had something to share ,we sat up and took notice. When he belted out a song in his big voice, on philanthropy and giving, to the tune of Summertime, we cheered him on.
And after his solo, we accompanied him as back up. Now the team may not make it to Carnegie Hall, but Jason might. He sure can sing… judge for yourself. Jason, recently invited to be Bolder Giving’s new Executive Director, had served on the board for two years. Bolder Giving, founded by Anne and Christopher Ellinger, aims to get people across the economic spectrum to think about how to donate a higher percentage of their assets and how to become effective philanthropists who can inspire and collaborate with others.
They recently received a $675,000 challenge grant from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation to expand its reach. According to Jason, “That’s a call every non-profit dreams of.” Quoted in a recent article , by Kristi Hamm, on The Business of Giving, and its economics and social aspects, Jason says, “It creates an opportunity for people of wealth to think about how much to keep and how much to give”… The new Gilded Age points to both “possibility in philanthropy and an indicator of inequality,” he said. “At the same time, society is in a period of great flux where a sense of energy and optimism mixes with heightened concern”….
“We’re in a volatile moment where it seems each time we turn around we’re facing major concerns from the oil spill to the economy,” he said. “It feels like we’re really on the brink of change that could be positive, but we could also be on the brink of things changing negatively.”
In the article, Ms. Hamm goes on to say,” Reaction to the Giving Pledge in some parts of the world, such as Germany, has been critical. Millionaires there said charity by the rich shouldn’t be seen as a replacement for basic functions of government” , according to an article by Der Spiegel.“Forty super wealthy people want to decide what their money will be used for,” said shipping magnate Peter Krämer. “That runs counter to the democratically legitimate state.”
Franklin agrees there is a larger question about the implications for civil society and decision making. “Philanthropy is almost always motivated by the desire to help or give back,” he said, though “it is giving back on an individual basis rather than collectively.”
After meeting Jason and learning more about Bolder Giving and his views ,there is no doubt in my mind that he will take Bolder Giving to the next step to really , in his words, “ mobilize new resources for social change,” We’re with you 100% Jason, there is no doubt that you’ll rise to the challenge.
More about Jason Franklin
This summer , Margaret and I , had the honor of being part of a small team of folks in the philanthropic/non-profit community invited to participate in an Inspired Legacies think tank, led by its “mastermind’ Tracy Gary. Tracy, well known for her work in the philanthropic community, wrote the forward to our new book, Women Wealth and Giving. She herself is the author of several works, including Inspired Philanthropy, now a new and expanded version. Tracy, a member of the Pillsbury family, started her unique odyssey in charitable giving 30 plus years ago. Her family, worth $30-40 million in 1970, had homes all over the world, planes, helicopters and Rolls Royces. Yet when Tracy received some of her inheritance, she decided to give it all away. You’ll see and hear more of her story in a new blog and video soon to be posted.
We met at the Philadelphia Foundation, right near Philadelphia’s amazing City Hall; a group of like minded individuals, eager to share their work and ideas, meet new friends, give each other referrals, and discuss the key issues philanthropic advisers and non-profit CEOs and consultants share today. Our goal : nothing major, just to change the world and instill in our philanthropic professionals’ world the concept of abundance and thrivability . Too often it’s about surviving, a mind set much too ubiquitous in non profit / charitable organizations in today’s economy. We spoke of the tenets of philanthropic advising and the impact this process could have on the professionals who work with philanthropists and the organizations’ they give to. And came up with strategies to foster a more abundant way of thinking and acting which we’ll be taking future action on. So stay tuned for more.
Each of us had a chance to speak of his or her work and what our mission is. We brainstormed, strategized , laughed and cried,and left energized, ready to take on the world. And there were many highlights, which you’ll be hearing more of in future stories, from celebrating Phil Cubeta’s birthday; Phil’s new position is as Professor of Philanthropy at American College in Bryn Mawr , to Jason Franklin, the new Executive Director of Bolder Giving , who burst out in a spontaneous, improvised song about giving and fundraising, a fun spoof, which had all of us joining in on the chorus. Jason’s version brilliant, the rest of us- well you’ll have a chance to see for yourself shortly.
The weekend , a testimony to the generosity of spirit which philanthropic advisers, development professionals and non- profit consultants and strategists bring to the making of a better world. Thank you Tracy.
1998. Little did I know that attending my first Association of Fund Raising Professionals’ Conference would , eleven years later, lead to collaborating with Margaret on our new book, Women, Wealth and Giving. At that conference I discovered St. Mary’s University and their renowned Philanthropy and Development Masters program. I applied, was accepted, started class in ’99 and was welcomed to campus by Dr. Gary Kelsey ,the Program Director. By the end of that semester, thanks to Dr. Kelsey and Professor Karla Williams, my choice of PDM-thesis topic had been made: The Motivation and Giving Patterns of Women Entrepreneurs.
Fast forward to 2010: the Association of Fund Raising Professionals’ Conference in Baltimore. Margaret and I were as excited as two kids attending a circus for the first time. Our publisher, John Wiley and Sons, had arranged for a booksigning and we enjoyed meeting up with old friends and making new ones. And we had the opportunity to talk with Dr. Kelsey about the program at St. Mary’s and how my initial work led to our collaboration; Margaret was working on similar research and a friend , knowing us both and what we were researching, connected us.
I asked Dr. Kelsey for his perspective on how the current economic upheaval has impacted giving and Philanthropy. His response, ” Philanthropy is still about connecting people and their passions. There are changes though. People are now doing their own homework. Their giving is more self directed …philanthropy is about empowerment… Fund development professionals need to cultivate relationships. It’s not just about who has the money, let’s go ask.”
And the differences you see between how men and women give? ” Women have a systemic approach. Men are fixers, we see a problem, we fix it- right now. Women tend to be more holistic, what’s causing that problem, what’s the root cause? They look at all of the factors that are related.”
Join us, Dr. Kelsey, Margaret, and me , as we explore the new world of giving and its impact on social change. And share “old times”…
As a long time member and former board member of the Dallas AFP chapter, it was an honor to be asked to speak about Margaret’s and my new work: Women, Wealth and Giving. Jim Falk, President/CEO of the World Affairs Council DFW and this year’s chapter president, was more than gracious in his praise of the book. He recommended it as required reading for development professionals with its insights in how to better work with their boomer contributors, and for their donors and potential donors as it gives a path for women boomers to follow with their charitable giving and future legacy.Thank you Jim.
I addressed boomers’ history and values and their need to change the world. Born between 1944 and 1965, there are 48,000,000 boomer women in the US, and they are generous. They have the resources and desire to give back- yet they are very discerning, very selective in choosing the organizations to whom they give their time and money. Boomer women are value based donors, who want to leave the world a better place and they have the power, the clout and the influence to do so. They are using their dollars to shift the constructs of families and communities and shaping what they hope is a different world for the next generation.
We talked about how to get and keep boomer donors and earn their loyalty. And the four main reasons an individual decides to become part of an organization:
Join in for a look:
A Margaret and Niki Adventure…April 11-14, 2010: Baltimore, Maryland
Imagine our delight to know that there would be a book signing for Women, Wealth and Giving at the conference- a whole hour in the book store… where folks could buy the book and we’d autograph it!! What could be better than that? Well the night before I had nightmares that no-one would show up- but they did- and we sold out!
Enjoy our photos.
The conference opened Sunday night with color and excitement. An event specialist- the Pink Flamingoes showcased an artist drawing a picture of one of the greatest philanthropists of all time- Mother Teresa. On Monday the 12th, we had breakfast with Susan McDermott, our Wiley and Sons editor before heading over to the book signing. Susan shared some of the ways the book is being marketed. We also interviewed her as to why a book like ours is important.
According to Susan, “books like yours provide a resource that is much needed. They help professionals do their jobs better and in the case of yours they are also inspirational. Your stories inspire and motivate. A generation of donors is getting older; they are looking for a way to leave a legacy. Sometimes people need to look at their lives and see what it’s about. They’ve been helped and now they want to give back and leave the world a better place.”
I asked her about Philanthropy and her views, and she shared a poignant story, “ten years ago my Father passed away. Everyone loved him. When he died it left a big hole in our family. So on the first anniversary of his death we had a huge family/friends golf outing- he loved golf, and a family picnic. 100 to 150 people showed up. The resultant funds were donated to the John Wayne Cancer Institute.
Each year for the last ten years we’ve gathered to celebrate his memory. We raffle items, sell tickets, raise money and donate it to a charity that benefits cancer. It’s our way of honoring his memory and also giving back…” Susan has been a joy to work with and we so appreciate all she has done to move our book forward.
During the Conference Margaret and I were each interviewed on the book and its premise by Matt Beem, President and Coo of Hartsook Companies Inc. Hartsook had a radio broadcast setup live – right on the conference exhibit floor. We addressed several key points- the how and why women boomers are generous, and how we’ve gone from conspicuous consumption to considerate compassion.”It’s about creating a more spiritual life and a better world for everyone. We’re designing a new worldview, a new vision of what we value, what we care about in our work, relationships community and country”.
Yes we wowed our listeners! We got to meet and greet dozens and shake hands and learn. And we met with John Mcllquham, President of the Non Profit Times Publishing Group- with whom we hope to build a relationship in the near future.
Stay tuned, there’s more to come…