Monday, September 29, 2008
I really enjoyed NPR's story on Mr. Newman, which I listened to while driving from DC to Baltimore on Saturday.
Saturday, September 20, 2008
Thursday, September 18, 2008
Tuesday, September 16, 2008
In addition to biking, one of my other great loves is wine. Everything I learned about wine I learned from Gary Vaynrchuk via his video blog Wine Library TV. Well, tonight I was watching Batman Begins (which you'll hear more about in upcoming posts) but all his talk about Bruce Wayne continuing his family's legacy (or when he was younger, intentionally disregarding it) made me think of GV. He's a huge internet celebrity - just search for him in google, twitter, facebook, or flickr - who has earned that celebrity because of his business acumen AND enthusiastic passion for good people. Remember Good People Day 2008? That was his idea and it cascaded through the internet like Hurricane Ike. I can't think of anything that's MORE pop culture then this internet sensation.
Anyway, back to legacy. A recent post in Gary's personal blog is "Legacy is Greater Than Currency." It's something he believes in so strongly you can see him wearing it on his shirt above. This mantra reflects his belief that you should make business decisions based on your long term legacy. For him, his long term legacy is building a successful business (which arguably he's done a few times over!), but there's much more behind that then just the money. It's pretty clear that in fact it's not about the "bones" - - he often says he'd rather have a million friends over a hundred million dollars. For me, this is what philanthropy is about: PEOPLE. Gary may not know it, but a concern for people's happiness is at the core of a philanthropic life and Gary is living it.
He sums it up best: "Your social equity is more important than your financial equity."
So, now that I've covered 2 of my 3 favorite activities in this blog, how am I going to relate salsa dancing to philanthropy????
Monday, September 15, 2008
The cover story notes that since last year's issue made the case for national serivce, this year's issue will focus on "21 big and small ideas on how you can service your community, your family, your country." But the over-arching theme of the article will sound familiar to us phil studies students. First, what is the proper role of government when it comes to service? When it comes to the presidential canditates, their backgrounds tell you a lot about their answer to this question: McCain served his country through tradition and honored military service while Obama's work with grassroots community organizing is more unorthodox. (More on this below). The other theme of the article that struck me was that "National service is part of our DNA" in America. Indeed, "service is a key part of the story we tell ourselves about this country."
You can peruse the list of 21 to-do's on your own. Of most interest to me is the candidates' plans for national service - - as I noted above, their respective experiences certainly influence their proposals. Obama's plan centers around investing in grass-roots ideas. He proposes a Social Investment Fund Network to bring together faith-based organization and foundations to expand successful programs. McCain's plan centers around enhancing educational opportunities in service, American history and civics. He also proposes a White House Serivce to America Office to streamline national serivce programs across the federal government.
And finally, if you pick up a hard copy of this magazine, be sure to pay attention to the front cover advertisement from Target. It shows a picture of a young girl at school. The tag line reads "5% Philanthropist". It says to me: the easiest way to be a philanthropist is to shop at Target becuase the company gives 5% of its income to support education, the arts, social service and volunteerism (this according to the ad). But, I don't think this ad really inspires me to be a philanthropist anymore then it inspires me to be a consumer.
Wednesday, September 10, 2008
Monday, September 8, 2008
So, the question is: how are the Colts team and/or owner using philanthropy to promote itself within the community? Given the assets of both, is it doing enough philanthropy? Is a $1 million gift really that significant when compared to the players' payroll, for example?
Wednesday, September 3, 2008
On Saturday I received a postcard from my alma mater, Concordia College, entitled "The Advancement Office." I'm impressed that the development operation is branching out this year in an attempt to better connect with its youngest alumni by spoofing the television show The Office. The postcard directed me to www.theadvancementoffice.com where I watched 4 homemade videos of the development office staff. The Vice President of Development plays the ineffectual, and un-self aware, leader role. You see him trying to motivate his staff with corn hats (no joke, our schools mascot is the Kernal). You see him scheduling a meeting with a major donor at Mick's Office, the much-beloved but hole-in-the-wall college bar. And my favorite is The Rivalry between Kristin, who strong believes that the age of online giving is here and now, and Andrea who argues that phonathon is king. In the photo below Andrea tries to foil Kristin's online giving plans.
I don't believe the college would have ever done something like this a year age but I love that it's stepping outside of its comfort zone while embracing web 2.0 ... not to mention how it effectively engages alumni. If the postcard made me go online AND make my annual gift, then I hope other young alums will do the same!
Watch The Rivalry (and the other clips) at: http://theadvancementoffice.com/rivalry.php#rivalry
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