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.

On Philanthropy: Philanthropy 2018: Bad news about good news (and vice versa)

Is your glass half full? Half empty? Thrown against the wall in frustration? The Giving USA report annually summarizes the nation’s charitable giving. The report on 2018 came out in July, and you can see whatever you want in those tea leaves.

On Philanthropy: Saving the World – and My July 4th Picnic

Every July 4th, our family reunion brings me into contact with my clueless brother-in-law. He’s the guy in every family who remembers exactly one fact about everyone else. As expected, he quickly worked our conversation around to his usual dig. “Hey, dude, you work for a nonprofit. So do you actually get paid?” he smirked.

On Philanthropy: Suffragette Dreams Come True – via Philanthropy

One hundred years ago, on June 10, 1919, Wisconsin became the first state to ratify the 19th amendment, giving women the right to vote. When I reflect on the struggles of our foremothers, I wonder: What have we accomplished?

On Philanthropy - Future Nonprofit C-Suiters: Top Traits to Cultivate

What does it take to become a nonprofit CEO? New research from the Nonprofit Leadership Alliance reveals the common traits.

On Philanthropy - Blood drives in Winterfell?

Philanthropy can be found in even the darkest of places - Would-be Westerosi! The fate of humanity lies in our hands!

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.

On Philanthropy - Can Philanthropy Make You a Better Lover?

Three lessons from charitable giving for a long and lasting relationship

On Philanthropy - Resist the List! Give Them a Gift that Gives

Dear Dad: I received your annual Christmas Wish List yesterday. After an online search for the meaning of “auger,” “tip up,” and “floating livewell,” I have to let you know that you will not be receiving any ice fishing supplies this year.

On Philanthropy - Can Southeast Wisconsin Nonprofits Energize Corporate Giving?

Here’s an easy multiple-choice question: Last year, We Energies gave more than 2 percent of its net income to charity – twice the average rate for corporations nationwide. That makes the company well-positioned to:

Are Milwaukee’s Corporate Donors Maxed Out?

The $20.8 billion that American companies gave to charity last year sounds like a lot…until you consider their share was just 5 percent of the nation’s $410 billion in philanthropy. So maybe it’s time to ask: are corporate donors maxed out?

On Philanthropy - Behind the Brass Plaque

You see their names on buildings. You read their names on plaques. But behind all the brass and calligraphy, what really motivates our community’s philanthropists?

On Philanthropy - Corporate execs: Expect Provocative Tax Questions from Fundraisers

Fundraisers nationwide have sounded alarms about how the new tax law will affect philanthropic giving. But at least three local experts don’t seem overly concerned. Among other strategies, they suggest fundraisers use the tax changes to leverage corporate giving.

On Philanthropy: Revealed - Milwaukee Philanthropists Secretly Wish to Be Ordinary!

The scene: last November’s National Philanthropy Day celebration in Milwaukee. There I sat, in the crowd of 600-plus diners, listening to heartwarming thank-yous as our area’s leading philanthropists and volunteers received awards from the Association of Fundraising Professionals. I tried to put myself in their shoes, imagining how such public acclaim for altruism, generosity and community commitment must be like a dream come true for the honorees. Then suddenly it struck me:

On Philanthropy: Who Will Catch the Trickle-Down?

My brother-in-law can’t come for dinner this weekend (I’m crushed) because he’s “getting his tax stuff together.” Amid his annual drudgery, he lamented, “At least next year we’ll have the tax cut.”

On Philanthropy: Keep Calm -- and Enjoy Your Millennial Makeover

Despite their differences, the nonprofit and for-profit sectors agree on one thing: Millennials can be confounding.

On Philanthropy: Caution to fundraisers: don’t be a knothole!

Let’s take a sober look at charity fraud warnings

On Philanthropy: Hey (Your Name Here), Did You Make “The LIST?”

Some of 2017’s year-end lists are more meaningful than others