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Getting Started in Philanthropy

Giving can be one of the most meaningful, life-enhancing aspects of our lives. More than a gesture, giving has the potential to help turn around the most serious problems in our troubled world. What we get in return can be invaluable. The question of how much to give is not frivolous. How do we, individually and as a society, stop hoarding financial abundance, using it as a scorecard, or simply pretending it’s not there? What will help us share our resources wisely? This publication provides six questions to ask as you begin your giving journey. With each one, we’ve offered Read more





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What Makes Giving Satisfying

Allen Hancock opens the issue with a personal vignette highlighting the need to create a proactive giving plan. Letters to the Editor make their first appearance, enhancing the magazine’s community feeling. Reader’s Views depict the challenges inherent in finding or creating satisfying opportunities for giving. An academic perspective classifying types of giving styles is offered, as are opportunities for ‘team giving,’ democratizing funding choices by involving others in funding decisions, using foundations to identify individual activists, and tips for creating donor-advised funds.





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Working with Financial Professionals

Practical advice for finding a good fit with financial professionals. Writers describe recognizing a disconnect between their values and the values of professionals who may have been inherited with the wealth from the prior generation. Tips for being a good client. Tips for managing financial professionals. Two readers share the unorthodox practices of professionals they depend on, letting readers know that there are alternatives to growing principal and reducing taxes as the goals of wealth management.







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Effective Giving

It takes time and experience to learn how to give effectively, but the journey can be fun and rewarding. In this issue, people with surplus income talk about what they’ve learned about giving–what’s satisfying, what’s hard, what makes giving most effective. You’ll hear from “ordinary people,” as well as well known philanthropists. From Steve Kirsch, large-scale venture capitalist with his own multi-million dollar foundation, to Wayne Muller, who advocates giving small and simply on a local scale, this issue invites you to explore the range of available options –and find out what giving effectively means you.





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Partners in Social Change

Stereotype-busting profiles of rich people who share power and resources and work passionately for the common good. One writer describes becoming a successful businessman specifically so that he would have more money to give away. Others describe the process of donating money and resisting the temptation to become controlling or patronizing of those who receive the resources. Alternative formats for foundations and finding grantors are detailed. Writers describe including spouses as partners, learning activism (or teaching activism) to their partners. A family confronts its political polarity, finding acceptable middle ground on which to invest millions of dollars in an inner-city.





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How Much to Give?

It is challenging to define how much is enough to give. Enough is subjective, arbitrary. Trying to apply a formula is ultimately unsatisfying, as the circumstances surrounding wealth are different for everyone. This issue details specific creative approaches for individuals arriving at their own definition of how much is enough to give.





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Family Foundations

Many tales from the family foundation frontlines. Lots of cartoons supporting stories of challenging family dynamics en route to matching funding decisions to personal values. First person descriptions of decision-making styles both affirming and autocratic; conflict between generations; upsetting the family order. Also, stories of family foundations structured to welcome input from all who wish to participate, foundations reorganized and given to community leaders, and creative cooperation in finding areas to fund.





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Creative Giving

A comprehensive look at giving. Who gives, how much, where to, and why. Sprinkled with statistics and analysis, powerful individual stories describe giving outside the lines. Writers talk about giving money unconventionally, seeking ways to give, and seeking gift recipients by their own rules, not according to established giving norms. Some giving alleviates the loneliness often endemic to inheritors. Others seek to share the joy in giving. Models for giving beyond that which supports culture, arts, education and policy institutions that serve the donors lifestyle. Compare your giving habits: amounts, causes, mechanisms, and goals.





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What Makes Giving Satisfying?

Allen Hancock opens the issue with a personal vignette highlighting the need to create a proactive giving plan. Letters to the Editor make their first appearance, enhancing the magazine’s community feeling. Reader’s Views depict the challenges inherent in finding or creating satisfying opportunities for giving. An academic perspective classifying types of giving styles is offered, as are opportunities for ‘team giving,’ democratizing funding choices by involving others in funding decisions, using foundations to identify individual activists, and tips for creating donor-advised funds.





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Giving Toolkit: Risk More/Transform your giving into an adventure

When we encourage givers to “risk more,” what we really mean is, “Let your giving become an adventure!” Does this appeal? If your giving often feels just routine, or burdensome, or anxiety-producing, perhaps you’d like to venture outside your habits and try something really different and better for yourself. Here are some ideas to get you started. This exercise invites you to step outside your current giving style.





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Giving Toolkit: Risk More/Kevin and Hannah Salwen’s Story

Kevin and Hannah Salwen share their story – why they sold their dream house and moved “to a home half the size, giving the price difference, more than $800,000, to charity. Half for us, half to try to make the world a little better.” Read why they think everyone can find something in their lives they have more than enough of, whether it’s time or treasure. Just gather your family or community, figure out your half and go for it.





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Giving Toolkit: Inspire More/Public or Private? The Empowered Choice

The choices we make about being public or private donors depend on the intricate web of factors that define our own lives. For some, the “right” choice is to be blatantly “out”; for others, it is to be intensely private; for still others, it’s a middle ground – more open in some contexts, more private in others. The key is to choose in an empowered way-with deliberate and aware intention, so that other people’s opinions, your own fears and emotions, societal pressure, or circumstances beyond your control are not making your decisions for you. So how do you, personally, decide? Read more





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Giving Toolkit: Inspire More/Explore a variety of ways to inspire the giving of others

No matter how much money or how little money you personally have to give, you can increase your impact a thousand-fold by inspiring the giving of others. (Look at Bill Gates! Even he felt that his best contribution would be to encourage his peers to give, and so he started a 50% Giving Pledge for his fellow billionaires.) We’ll help you explore a variety of ways to inspire the giving of others: Talk about giving with people you know Give openly rather than privately Learn to fundraise Share your giving story Be a public promoter of giving





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Giving Toolkit: Give More/Quick Experiments in Bolder Giving

Many donors have asked us for quick-and-easy ways to experiment with giving levels. Although we advise people to systematically consider their current and future financial needs, we know that not everyone will make time for such a thorough process. Here, then, we share some of the giving experiments that creative givers have tried. We illustrate each option as though implemented by a fictional character: Julia Harlow, single, age 32, freelance software consultant with net earnings of $50,000 a year who also inherited $1.4 million from her grandparents. (Your financial situation may differ dramatically from hers, but some of the ideas Read more









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Effective Giving

It takes time and experience to learn how to give effectively, but the journey can be fun and rewarding. In this issue, people with surplus income talk about what they’ve learned about giving–what’s satisfying, what’s hard, what makes giving most effective. You’ll hear from “ordinary people,” as well as well known philanthropists. From Steve Kirsch, large-scale venture capitalist with his own multi-million dollar foundation, to Wayne Muller, who advocates giving small and simply on a local scale, this issue invites you to explore the range of available options –and find out what giving effectively means you.