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Where Will Your Philanthropy Be In 2017?

September 22nd, 2012

Where Will Your Philanthropy Be In 2017? By Margaret May Damen, CFP, CLU, ChFC NABBW’s Philanthropy Expert “The difference between who you are now and who you are five years from now comes down to the people you meet and the books you read.” – Anonymous The year 2017 seems like a long way off for most of us, but in the blink of an eye it will fly by. And judging by the rhetoric of the proverbial soothsayers, 2017 may well be a pivotal year for women and philanthropy. Today, and moving forward for the next 60 months, I encourage you to reflect on how the insights gathered from each... Read More

Trust, Transparency Critical in Philanthropic Quest

June 6th, 2012

Trust, Transparency Critical in Philanthropic Quest By Margaret May Damen, CFP, CLU, ChFC NABBW’s Philanthropy Expert Country music diva, Kathy Mattea’s lyrics, “Standin’ knee deep in a river and dyin’ of thirst,” could well apply to the quagmire many people get into when they start their philanthropic quest. According to the National Center for Charitable Statistics (NCCS) there are more than 1.5 million not for-profit organizations in the United States. How does a caring and motivated person whose values are aligned with the causes they wish to impact chose the organizations... Read More

The Energy of Philanthropy

April 26th, 2012

The Energy of Philanthropy By Margaret May Damen, CFP, CLU, ChFC NABBW’s Philanthropy Expert Sixty-seven years ago, a 13-year-old girl caught in the horrors of the holocaust wrote in her diary, “How wonderful it is that nobody need wait a single moment before starting to improve the world.” Anne Frank believed in the goodness and compassion of people. We certainly need more conspicuous compassion in the world. Today, four out of five people believe we have lost sight of the fundamental values upon which our country was founded. Philanthropy is one of the three sectors by which we participate... Read More

A True Philanthropic Holiday Season

December 8th, 2011

A True Philanthropic Holiday Season By Margaret May Damen, CFP, CLU, ChFC NABBW’s Philanthropy Expert Each year it seems there is more conspicuous consumption and less conspicuous compassion around the holiday season. Is it just human nature or do we all get a bit edgy when we hear Christmas Carols and Holiday tunes blast out of the radio and in the shopping malls before Halloween? It seems merchants are “Decking the Halls” way before Jack Frost starts nipping at our toes. Mark DeMoss, author of The Little Red Book of Wisdom, writes “The standard, \’How much should... Read More

Philanthropic Therapy: Can Meaning and Money Mix?

November 18th, 2011

Philanthropic Therapy: Can Meaning and Money Mix? By Margaret May Damen, CFP, CLU, ChFC NABBW’s Philanthropy Expert “Philanthropic Therapy: Can Meaning and Money Mix? Once again, I was rewarded with an “aha moment” as I experienced George Kinder’s life planning and financial coaching session. The Kinder Institute of Life Planning takes a holistic approach when designing a wealth holder’s financial plan. Holistic to the point that one of the Institute’s participants, CFP Rick Kahler, in Rapid City, South Dakota, is a leading proponent and co-founder of the Healing Money Issues... Read More

The Virtues of Passion in Changing Times

September 12th, 2011

The Virtues of Passion in Changing Times By Margaret May Damen, CFP, CLU, ChFC NABBW’s Philanthropy Expert “It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness…” A Tale of Two Cities, Charles Dickens Gridlock in Washington, riots in London… has Charles Dickens’ epic novel A Tale of Two Cities become more fact than fiction some 152 years since it was first published? And what does all this have to do with philanthropy (the third sector)? From my perspective, quite a lot. If one believes as I do, the sage wisdom of the late... Read More

What is Your Philanthropic Footprint?

January 24th, 2011

What is your Philanthropic Footprint? By Margaret May Damen, CFP, CLU, ChFC NABBW’s Philanthropy Expert Without going to the extreme of “wearing my heart on my sleeve,” I believe philanthropy shapes the ethics and morals of our society.  America, once a county of the young, is fast graying.  The number of Boomers ready to pass on their core values is increasing at a time when four out of five adults believe the ethics and morals in our country are no longer tracking true north. As a cohort of maturing Baby Boomers we recognize that the world we are passing on to the next generation... Read More

This year is the bicentennial celebration of Margaret Fuller

August 22nd, 2010

This year is the bicentennial celebration of Margaret Fuller’s birth, an extraordinary woman, (1810-1950) with a global vision of equality and human rights; a guiding light for a generation of women eager to make a difference and leave a legacy. Among her many accomplishments, she was the first woman journalist on Horace Greeley’s New York Daily Tribune and the first editor of Ralph Waldo Emerson’s Transcendentalist journal, The Dial. In the side pocket of my purse I carry a rather tattered slip of paper on which several years ago, I wrote one of her sayings, “The especial... Read More

The Philanthropic Muse

June 25th, 2010

In the current issues of Fortune Magazine billionaires Warren Buffest, Bill Gales, and Melinda Gates ask the nation’s billionaires to pledge to give at least half their net worth to charity, in their lifetimes or at death. Such a noble idea could just be the catalyst to reverse decades of “the rich getting richer and the poor getting poorer,” to paraphrase a familiar tune. Individual, corporate and foundation giving to charity in 2008, according to Giving USA, which tracks all contributions, was in the neighborhood of $307.65 billion dollars While many may consider this to be a handsome... Read More