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Blog Posts: Philanthropic Advisor

Giving poorly can be worse than not giving at all

What if your donation to fight human trafficking paid the salary of a human trafficker? What if your donation to support widowed law enforcement families went to a felon’s bank account? What if your child sponsorship monthly donation and letters never helped the girl in the picture? What if you gave money to loan to a struggling entrepreneur in Africa that was actually embezzled by loan officers? In the last year, I have seen each one of these nightmares come true.  It could have been avoided. Read how in my latest Alliance magazine article Giving poorly can be worse than not giving at all.  

Tags: Strategic Giving, Due Diligence, Philanthropic Advisor, Charity Evaluations, Nonprofit Evaluation, Charity Evaluation

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The Rebirth of Generosity: A response to Leon Neyfakh's Boston Globe article "Why We Give to Charity"

When people think more, they are less generous.  How do you feel about that?  Leon Neyfakh promotes this hypothesis in his new Boston Globe article "Why We Give to Charity."  Nonprofit service organizations like Law For Change and Campbell & Company have posted the provocative article for website visitors to read.  It has been swirling around philanthropy-related twitter feeds for all to see.  I bumped into it on a daily news blast from the Chronicle of Philanthropy.  I loved its trend-bucking subversion.  But I found its case truly unconvincing.  So much so, I'm firing back with some neglected facts in the oversimplified case. 

Tags: Philanthropic Advisor, Heart Test, Charity Evaluations, Charity Evaluation

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Are Philanthropy Advisors as Important as Financial Advisors? A Case for the Difficulty of Giving Wisely

I remember the disbelief and near nausea of opening up my 401K quarterly reports between October 2008 and March 2009. Any of you who experienced the same shock know how suddenly you realized the need for a better investment strategy and a better financial advisor. After seeing thousands and tens of thousands of dollars disappear, you probably wanted to go back in time and pay any price to hire a savvy investment manager. At that point in time, no one needed to be convinced that trusting the system was dangerous and relying on your own allocation choices was inadequate. 

I often wish we could receive the same quarterly reports on the effectiveness or ineffectiveness of our charitable giving. Can you imagine how much more seriously we would supervise our philanthropy? 

Tags: Philanthropic Advisor, Financial Advisor

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