Strike Back at Stress Through Yoga (and Philanthropy)

Good morning, Milwaukee! It’s a beautiful sunny day, flowers are blooming and the birds are chirping. Let’s channel this moment through meditation. Join me. Sit in a comfortable position. Open your heart to ease and relaxation. Surrender to the moment…

Doing Our Duty for Diligent Do-Gooders Serving others is a benefit to all.

There are so many focus areas of awareness during the month of April: environmental causes including Earth Day, various health causes, and, of course, it's National Volunteer Month. Volunteers play an indispensable role at every nonprofit. Even where they don't help deliver programs, volunteer leaders make up every nonprofit board.

Fundraising should not be about raising funds (wait…what?)

Without question, fundraising is an important, noble practice that allows nonprofits to do a lot of good in the world. But if fundraisers’ goal is to raise funds at all costs, we’re missing the point – and maybe doing harm in the process.

‘Share the Love’ and live a longer, happier life

Last month’s ‘On Philanthropy’ column outlined the inherent drive to help one another. Now, just in time for Valentine’s Day, it’s time to dig deeper into the concepts of love and altruism and their role in our daily lives.

No need for a New Year’s Resolution – We are inherently driven to help each other!

Each year, approximately 40% of Americans create New Year’s resolutions. Life goals to be healthier, happier, and overall better than the previous year. As we enter 2022, we face a start much like 2021- we are still in the ebbs and flows of health and economic uncertainty. As a result, resolutions on health, diet, and exercise continue to dominate national trends. This year’s trends also include resolutions to improve personal financial situations.

The Unfair Game That's on U.S. All

These days, everybody’s talking about social equity. It’s an uncomfortable conversation for many – like my brother-in-law.

Unsung Heroes

This Veteran’s Day, find your own way to honor our veterans Yesterday, a donor dropped off over 400 homemade masks for our students. I opened the package, the red, white and blue masks flashing before my eyes. 

Be Mindful… Be Respectful… Be Aware!

As I researched fundraising topics for this article, a social media post pop-up distracted me. The post occurred on an informational platform for families of students at my child’s university. Social media has become an important tool for non-profit professionals like me, but today I saw first-hand the potential danger of this digital world.  

Jeepers Creepers!

Is it time to give nonprofits a break regarding “mission creep”? “Mission creep.”  As every nonprofit leader knows, it’s bad thing to be accused of.  But is the stigma justified?  Or do corporate and foundation funders need a new perspective?  

Seize the day! Seek opportunity in adversity.

Are you ready to lead? COVID has opened doors for those with preparation, focus and grit. The COVID-19 pandemic has impacted the workforce in insurmountable ways. It has been a trying 19 months but finally, the economy is rebounding. According to the US Labor Dept of Statistics, there were 9.5 million job openings in May 2021. If you are looking to make a change, and are ready to level up to a leadership role, now is the time.   

Gracious Celebrations

This time of the year is full of celebrations. Events commemorating our nation’s heroes on Independence Day. Ceremonies honoring academic graduates. Wedding festivities to bless the union of couples. Sporting events to cheer on the successes of favorite teams. Fairs and festivities that celebrate our sense of community.

Morally speaking, is philanthropy inevitable?

Is morality the same everywhere?  And does it inevitably lead to philanthropy? Insight on those two intriguing questions comes from a recent University of Oxford study of ethics across 60 societies.  Researchers concluded that seven morals -- remarkably uniform throughout humankind – evolved in every culture to promote social cooperation.

Together we rise! Courage in the Age of COVID

The past 14 months have been scary. Our lives have been turned upside down, with everything we love and value endangered. But one thing never changed:  the willingness of communities, donors and volunteers to come together to meet our collective challenges.

Unsung Heroes

In the world of philanthropy, there is one crucial area of giving that is undeniably the most valuable. This priceless act is the act of giving of one’s time.

The 21st Century Progressive Era

In looking back on history, we can note some parallels with current events. We are surrounded by the advancement of innovations, while at the same time overwhelmed by the call for reforms in the areas of social justice, economics, and politics.

On Philanthropy: Equity through Philanthropy

This black history month, let’s remember the pandemic that has plagued our country long before the Coronavirus.

On Philanthropy: Your 2020 Holiday Song

The year 2020 has been unprecedented in so many ways.  It only follows that the year’s nonstop changes would affect the holidays as well. That explains the song I heard on the radio the other day:  “Chestnuts roasting on an open fire Coronavirus all around CARES Act tax law changes now will inspire Good donors to spread their money around…”

Philanthropy, Justice and a Chance for Change

We fundraisers are committed to philanthropy.  But some things are even more important, as Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. reminds us: "Philanthropy is commendable, but it must not cause the philanthropist to overlook the circumstances of economic injustice which make philanthropy necessary." Read AFP’s Milwaukee Business Journal column and get involved in NPD 2020.

If Ever There was a Year to Celebrate Philanthropy…

Almost by definition, communities unify people for collaborative action and shared benefit. That’s why 2020 will be remembered as a year when the unifying powers of community were put to severe test. When circumstances divide us, it’s too easy to lose sight of what unites us. Together, let’s commit to change that on November 10.

Funders, Your Rainy Day Has Arrived

Hey there, Congress!  So sorry to hear about your recent politicized stall (what, again?) on a new coronavirus relief package.  Quick bipartisan suggestion:  how about injecting $200 billion into the economy over three years without costing taxpayers a dime?

On Philanthropy: Cycle of Support

Sitting down at my computer after a digital-free ‘holiday’ weekend resulted in some surprises. Emails to several fellow nonprofit professionals were followed by auto-replies, not due to vacations but as a result of furloughs and layoffs.

On Philanthropy: United We Thrive

Each one of us has a moral responsibility to fight for justice. Who will lead that fight? Grassroots nonprofit organizations! Here’s one example.

On Philanthropy: Finding Hope in Darkness

Working in the wee hours (when my daughter’s asleep so there are no mouths to feed, no diapers to change, no zoom meetings to attend), I gaze out the window to see a star shining through the foggy twilight, and it reminds me: in the darkest skies we find the brightest stars.

On Philanthropy: Big Cats and Bad Actors

This On Philanthropy column has historically written about the virtues of the nonprofit world. But we have to admit that the nonprofit sector has a dark side.

On Philanthropy: Volunteers a Growing Challenge for Milwaukee-Area Nonprofits

In a recent survey of Milwaukee area nonprofits, 50% of the 250 responding organizations said that volunteers were either essential or very important to their mission. That’s not surprising, given that 52% of the responding organizations had fewer than 10 paid staff – and fully 25% had only one staff member, or none.

On Philanthropy - Loss of Public Trust is a Nonprofit’s “Chapter 11”

Why did the bank want to return all the government bailout money ASAP?... Because it was upset at all the hidden fees!

On Philanthropy: The Case for a Way Back

Each year, philanthropic donors bring enlightenment, health, and opportunity to area residents through charitable gifts to nonprofit organizations. But those of us who genuinely care about community-building must support one more mission: restoring the ability of troubled and at-risk neighbors to thrive as community members.

On Philanthropy: How to paint a beautiful picture without picking up a brush

To create an inspiring work, an artist translates a beautiful vision into reality. It’s the same for a philanthropist: starting with their vision of a better world, they wield brushstrokes of passion, creativity, insight and generosity. Their works don’t just inspire us – they lift our whole community’s quality of life.

On Philanthropy: The Touching Driveway Moment that Will Save the World and Preserve Your Rec Room

This fall your kid may head off to college for the first time, perhaps with only the vaguest idea about a career. As he or she backs down the driveway, you have one last chance to influence their future. My suggestion: wave them down, lean through the window and, in your gravest James Earl Jones voice, intone:

Looking for a great way to promote your non-profit?

Build awareness for your cause, your mission, and for philanthropy. The Milwaukee Business Journal's Partners in Philanthropy (PIP) special edition is what you have been waiting for.