Your organization is not your protagonist

Organizations are not leading characters. The people who make up those organizations are. Sadly, we often forget to the tell the stories of those people — and focus instead on the accomplishments or challenges facing the mother ship. Mark and I just spent two days in a storytelling workshop helping front-line service providers who are… Read more

Sorry, Spock – Life is Not an Algorithm

A possible watershed in the latest attack of the “why can’t we all think like software engineers” movement quietly took place last month when the Hewlett Foundation threw in the towel on a multi-million dollar eight-year investment in the so-called “effective philanthropy” movement. This philanthropic sideshow has gone by many names – venture philanthropy, effective… Read more

There’s no such thing as compassion fatigue

This just in from the world of brain science – we have an almost infinite capacity for compassion. In fact, it makes us feel good. So if that’s true, why is the notion of “compassion fatigue” such a preoccupation among fundraisers? According to neuroscientists, social psychologists (and incidentally Buddhist meditation masters), the key is to… Read more

Better than Chocolate

Your attention is the most precious thing you can give to your mid-level donors. We get asked a lot what kinds of things to offer middle givers to bond them to your organization. Special events? Gifts? Knickknacks? Food? Well yes, maybe, but what really matters for most donors is that they feel acknowledged. PPFA’s Lori… Read more