November 24, 2016

Thanksgiving is a U.S. holiday

Thankful for … friends and family and donors and business colleagues and employees and bosses and board members …

Thankful for the nonprofit sector and those willing to fight and risk speaking out and …

I said I wouldn’t talk about the U.S. election anymore. But I just read the single most marvelous summary of how I feel and how so many feel… the single most marvelous call-to-action for those who can take the risk to speak out … And yes, I can and will continue to do so.

Thank you Charles M. Blow. Brilliant and wonderful and deeply sad and galvanizing and kick-ass and…. “No, Trump, We Can’t Just Get Along.” 

Thank you New York Times. For keeping Charles M. Blow with you always.

Filed under: Social Commentary

November 14, 2016

I will stop now…after this last one…

Very good LinkedIn comment from Kevin Feldman about following U.S. law. And being donor centered. I agree.

But I have additional comments. About silence is consent. About public policy and advocacy. About the ethical and moral role of the nonprofit sector.

First read Kevin’s remarks: Do Not Let Your Politics Ruin Your Fundraising. Then scroll down for my response.

Do read Waldemar Nielsen’s monograph “The Third Sector: Keystone of a Caring Society.” See Chapter 1 in my book Strategic Fund Development: Building Profitable Relationships That Last, 3rd edition, beginning on page 6, “Why does this sector matter?”

And always keep nearby John Gardner’s beautiful monograph, “Building Community,” also discussed in my book Strategic Fund Development.

Check the Independent Sector for the Gardner and Nielsen pieces. I read both of these more than 20 years ago– and they’re still favorites.

Okay. Enough.


Filed under: Social Commentary

November 13, 2016

I finally cried yesterday

About the election…About what it says about this country. Oh Papa Georges, je suis si triste. C’est toi qui m’a instruit.

I’ve been listening to Mavis Staples sing We Shall Not Be Moved. And I sing along. And then I listen to Andra Day sing RISE UP and I cry.

I promise that I shall not be moved. And I will continue to rise up.

Equity be with us all.

Filed under: Social Commentary

March 10, 2016

Making you afraid

One of my favorite movies is The American President with Michael Douglas, Annette Bening, Michael J. Fox, and Martin Sheen. (And Martin Sheen then moved on to The West Wing. My most favorite television show ever. I would get confused about reality and The West Wing. I’d talk with friends as if what was happening in The West Wing was actually happening in the other West Wing.

Anyway, back to The American President. President Andrew Shepherd makes the most marvelously exceptionally swell speech about problems and solutions and fear and blame. I wish someone would recite this speech in the U.S. Congress right now. Maybe President Obama could channel President Shepherd. (President Shepherd even talked about gun control. And 20 years after that movie, this country allows the shooting of kids on college campuses, in downtown streets, in elementary schools, in homes…)

But I digress………

The point of this blog was Andy Shepherd’s statement: “Making you afraid. And telling you who to blame.” There’s a problem. People who talk about the problem (so many elected officials – and presidential candidates) arouse fear. Intentionally. And then tell us who to blame.

Let me say that again: Making you afraid of “it.” And telling you who to blame.

Do you play that game? Do you make others afraid and tell them who to blame? Does your organization? Do your elected officials do that? Does your government do that?

Maybe we need different elected officials. Maybe we need to radically change our governments and the people therein. Maybe we need to take a deep breath and stop the fear-mongering and the hate speech and blame game.

I want Jed Bartlett and Andrew Shepherd as president. Well, actually, I want Hillary Clinton.

By the way:  Wikipedia tells me that The American President is #75 on the American Film Institute‘s list of America’s Greatest Love Stories. Some of the other films on the list are: Casablanca (#1). Gone with the Wind (#2). West Side Story (#3). An Affair to Remember (#5). Pretty Woman (#21). When Harry Met Sally (#25.) An Officer and a Gentleman (#29). Titanic (#37). A Star is Born (#43). The English Patient (#56). Coming Home (#78). The Princess Bridge (#88). Dirty Dancing (#93). To name just a few! And I really enjoyed all of these.

P.S. And for those who don’t know, Aaron Sorkin wrote The American President and The West Wing. And the Newsroom, too. I wish that were still on.

Filed under: Social Commentary

January 20, 2016

I believe that silence is consent.

So I take risks because I can. I have these social commentary blogs. Yes. I know that social commentary on my business website might cause some potential clients to turn away. That’s okay. With my privilege, I can take risks that others can’t.

I sure love that Seth Godin. Check out these two social justice blogs of his: Getting ahead versus doing well and read Hiding, too.

Paul Krugman is my kind of economist. Check out this op-ed. And Thomas Piketty is my kind, too, I suspect. I bought his book and must read it soon. Although the situation will only make me angrier. So I have to spread out my anger.

Check out this interview with Robert Reich… “A vicious cycle of wealth and power threatens capitalism.

If you’re interested in justice, subscribe to this compilation service...very justice oriented.

Also read the Transformation newsletter at OpenDemocracy. Justice activist Mike Edwards is the founder.

I hope you’re able to speak out. I hope that doesn’t put you at too much risk.

And here’s a shout out. To the gentleman sitting on the aisle next to me on Southwest airlines flying to Chicago on Sunday, 01-10. He asked me what I was writing on my laptop. And off I went into my love of philanthropy and the nonprofit sector … and then I began ranting about justice… my white privilege and that I could wear a hoodie without fear. He can’t. He’s a football coach at URI. He helps develop young men. Cool.



Filed under: Social Commentary

November 9, 2015

Discomfort with strangers…people who are different than…

I find it somewhat curious… rather annoying… and totally distasteful. All this anger at immigrants (or the possibility of immigrants). Let’s lock those other people up. Let’s put them in some dark corner of our city. Let’s build a wall – maybe even two or three! – to keep them out.

All the while, today’s world is so connected. Your grocery store. My clothing store. YouTube. The news. Photos. People. So much connection.

Yet so much suspicion and distaste – even hatred –  for those who are different.

Here’s a postcard from my French cousin Fab and her partner husband Jean-Claude. The postcard comes from the Memorial of the Camp des Milles. This postcard proclaims, “Understand in order to agitate.”

Here’s the original version as seen on the postcard. Scroll down for the English translation.

Ton christ est juif

Ta voiture est japonaise

Ton couscous est algerin

Ta démocratie est grecque

Ton cafe est bresilien

Ton chianti est italien

Et tu reproches a ton voisin d’être un étranger…

Your christ is jewish

Your car is japanese

Your couscous is algerian

Your democracy is greek

Your coffee is brazilian

Your chianti is italian

And you reproach your neighbor because s/he is a stranger               

A tribe can be wonderful. Just read Seth Godin’s book of that name. Think about what we want to do with donors – build a tribe that cares. Think about movements like social justice – building a tribe that will act together for good.

Tribes can be so marvelous and special and extraordinary and helpful and useful and great agents of change.

And tribes can be so awful, so disgusting, so vicious, so harmful, so hurtful. I fight those tribes. I want them gone gone gone.

Which tribes do you belong to? Which tribes do you avoid – and even fight?

P.S. An important article about change in U.S. demographics (in a decade or so, whites will be the minority). But who continues to seemingly control the world?

August 19, 2015

Some pretty cool articles

Check out these interesting articles. I find lots of this kind of stuff at TRANSFORMATION…where love meets social justice. Part of the website called openDemocracy. (What’s openDemocracy? A digital commons magazine. Champions human rights…)

So check out these articles I found by subscribing to TRANSFORMATION.

Racism is not a mental illness

Will the left ever get religion?

Welcome to the empathy wars

Dylann Roof is not an extremist

Are you cultivating knowledge or just consuming information?

And here’s another interesting article… From BUSTLE: How this landmark birth control case led to the Supreme Court’s gay marriage ruling

Filed under: Social Commentary

March 30, 2015

Two interesting statements

“Justice is merely incidental to law and order.”

Thank you J. Edgar Hoover. I find that statement ugly and horrifying… And I’ll fight you and your kind forever.


“The audacity to fight for justice. The perseverance to win.” 

From NCLR, the National Center for Lesbian Rights. I find that beautiful and wonderful and inspiring. I joined that fight a long time ago. And we’re winning.

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