A legacy of philanthropy: How foundation support benefits Pittsburgh, today and tomorrow

From neighborhood improvement initiatives to parks and recreation to social causes, the tradition of philanthropy in Pittsburgh has fueled the city’s recent economic and cultural renaissance.

Source: www.popcitymedia.com

This article is a great inspiration. It’s important to note that it’s not only the Carnegies and Heinzes of the city who have made a difference through purposeful philanthropy.  It’s also the individuals who donate through direct fundraising, donor advised funds and other organized efforts.

The common characteristic among all these philanthropists, regardless of “capacity” is that they all are giving on purpose, with purpose.  They know where they want to focus their energy and their money.  They know who they are, why they’re here, and where they’re going in terms of the impact that they want to have on Pittsburgh and the world.

How can you become a philanthropist in your community?  How can you inspire others around you to engage?  I would be interested in learning more about your experiences and approach.

Nicklaus receives Congressional Gold Medal for ‘excellence… philanthropy… family’: The Loop

It was not the equivalent of a major championship or even 18 of them. It was more important than that. Jack Nicklaus on Tuesday received the highest honor the United States Congress can bestow on a civilian, the Congressional Gold…

Source: www.golfdigest.com

The Golden Bear receives the Congressional Gold Medal:

Jack and Barbara Nicklaus are wonderful people that truly allow philanthropy to infuse their lives – – lives lived on purpose, with purpose.

Congratulations to a fellow Buckeye!

Steven Crandell: Anne and Michael Towbes Give Away the Secrets of Their Philanthropy Philosophy

Source: www.noozhawk.com

The secret is:  There are no secrets to philanthropy! It’s for anyone – repeat – ANYONE.

Anne Smith Towbes and Michael Towbes are examples of Unleashed Abundance and collaborative philanthropy –

“My late mother-in-law (Sara Smith) used to say,

‘The more you give, the more you have to give.’
Just the philosophy of abundance. Whether you have the money or not,
(if) you have the time and the inclination, that’s abundance.”

— Anne Smith Towbes

We ALL have something to give – including you.  You don’t have to be a wealthy person to be a philanthropist; It just takes thoughtful planning and purposeful action. This article is packed full of actions any of us can take to make good work.  READ it and think on it . . .

If you’re now inspired to get your own philanthropy in gear but don’t know where to begin, then I invite you to join one of our Cohorts or Mastermind groups.  I know that you have the potential to be a great philanthropist in your own world, in your own way.  Begin today.

Attention nonprofit fundraisers:  Are you a philanthropist?  If not, consider becoming one, and suddenly you will have a peer-to-peer relationship with your donors.  It is a growth opportunity that will produce great new results in your work and your life.

A Vital Pipeline: How Donor-Advised Funds Engage New Donors and Boost Communities – Inside Philanthropy: Fundraising Intelligence – Inside Philanthropy

Editor’s Note: As the debate over donor-advised funds heats up, we’re keen to air all sides at Ins…

Source: www.insidephilanthropy.com

DAFs and other philanthropic vehicles are fantastic tools for building your charitable giving plan on purpose, with purpose.  I like to think of them as “philanthropy accounts” similar to retirement accounts : You set aside money for a specific purpose and (maybe) take a tax deduction now. It allows for a period of concentrated decision making for charitable gifts so you can select the programs and organizations where you want to have the most impact.  It encourages  donors to design a thoughtful plan that fits in with their vision, purpose and strategy for life.  DAFs are growing and may become THE preferred philanthropic vehicle for millions of middle-market philanthropists.


“Far from allowing donors to “warehouse” their charitable gifts, DAFs allow donors to guide funds to future causes with intentionality and intelligent direction.” (emphasis mine)

Words are important – FREE valuable resources

Words have meaning, create powerful images and trigger emotions.

words

The professional marketers at MarketSmart know and understand how to use words to create images and stimulate emotions that lead to more planned giving prospects.  They have 2 FREE resources based on the work of Dr. Russell James that give valuable insight into what to say, and what NOT to say, in your planned gift / major gift marketing programs.

In these two free ebooks, you will learn how to facilitate meaningful conversations with donors using carefully chosen words and phrases.

Check out this research soon, you will want to begin to implement the principles of powerful speech in all your communications immediately.  It’s simple but amazing . . .

Why are you here?

Do you know . . . .

  • Who you are?
    • Why you are here?
      • Where you’re going?

If your life’s work and purpose is clear – congratulations.  Keep going because it’s a work in progress that you will never finish, it will just keep growing.

If you seem caught up in frenetic activity with little to show for it or are just plain “stuck”, then consider making an investment in yourself to see different results.

Those of us in philanthropy know that if we don’t have our own aspirations clearly defined, then we can’t do the good work we desire – – and we won’t have the confidence to share that clarity with others and invite them to partner in our cause.

Some time ago, I defined my OPUS and married a Playbook of Productive Action to the vision.  I have made progress and am more focused than ever on where I spend my energy.  The understanding I’ve gained and the people I have met because of that focus has transformed my world from confusion and frustration to clarity and satisfaction.

Would you like that too?  If so, then I invite you to join a group of people intent on designing their own personal and organizational OPUS documents so that they can enjoy success, significance and security.  This is for anyone involved in building up nonprofits, communities and businesses.  It’s for any one who wants to grow and be even more effective in improving the lives of others.

The  sessions begin in April, and space is limited so that we can keep the discussion focused and meaningful for all.  Since this is done via web calls, you can be anywhere in the world to participate.  There is a one-time fee of $87 for the 6 weekly sessions, plus 6 months of coaching calls. Please contact me immediately if you have questions so we can reserve your space. Or go straight to Eventbrite and sign up now.

The Executor’s $1.2 Million Mistake

You don’t have to be the Astors or Anna Nicole Smith to have big estate troubles; here’s what happened to the $12.5 million estate of the widow of a UPS worker.

Source: www.forbes.com

According to The Financial Awareness Foundation.  Over 50% of Americans do not have an updated estate plan.  Is yours one of them? 

If you don’t have a well-documented estate plan with executed documents, your family may be put under a great deal of stress.  All the plans and dreams you had for them and others may vanish.  This goes for your charitable intentions as well.


Estate Planning is part of a comprehensive financial plan.  It directs who gets what and when if you become incapacitated or die and cannot make decisions about your affairs yourself. However, it is important to get input from a team competent professionals so that all you desire to be realized can actually happen.  Don’t leave it to chance

April will be National Financial Literacy month.  Check out these resources to get an early start on your lifestyle and legacy planning:

Masterwork of Philanthropy – your OPUS

The Financial Awareness Foundation

All There Is To Learn About Global Philanthropy

Q: Tell me a bit about Global Philanthropy Group. A: We are a group of passionate people working to make the world a better place – it’s as simple as that. We founded Global Philanthropy Group (GPG) eight years ago because we saw a lot of influential people who wanted to […]

Source: www.forbes.com

Of particular interest is the comment on the trends in philanthropy that GPG observes.  Note that people of all backgrounds, economic levels and ages are becoming philanthropists.  

People don’t wait until “end of life” – they want to be part of the good that is happening.  They don’t just want to be a piggy bank for a nonprofit.  And the best part – philanthropy is not just for the super-wealthy.  Middle-market business owners and C-suite execs especially seem to be looking for new and unique ways to be involved.

Everywhere you look, you will find donors / clients who want to be engaged with their philanthropy.  How are you making that happen for them so that they can be part of the new trends?  What do you offer to those who want to help beyond “click and give” or a check?

Want a FREE Book? How about 2 FREE Books?

Thank you, Michael!

Michael Rosen Says...

From time to time, I come across truly special offers that I’m pleased to share with you.

Today, I want to give you the chance to get not one, but two, FREE books about planned giving written by Texas Tech University researcher Russell James, JD, PhD, CFP:

Visual Planned Giving: An Introduction to the Law & Taxation of Charitable Gift Planning

Visual Planned GivingThis textbook is written specifically for fundraisers or financial advisors seeking to expand their knowledge about charitable gift planning. This introductory book addresses all of the major topics in planned giving law and taxation and features over 1,000 full-color illustrations and images that guide you through complex concepts in a visual and intuitive way. Distilled from his years of teaching Charitable Gift Planning at the undergraduate and graduate levels, James makes this topic accessible and enjoyable for the busy professional.

Here are some of the things you’ll learn:

•…

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Randy Fox Interviews Todd Fithian on Values | Carnegie Mellon University

Source: cmu.pgdc.com

Todd Fithian is one of the leaders in financial planning, and for good reason.  He knows that personal financial management is not all about numbers – it’s first and foremost about people and their values.  

A financial plan begins with stating financial goals – but there is a lot of prep work to be done before that can be defined clearly.  The client and all of his or her advisors need to understand the why behind those technical goals.  Why to you want a certain amount of income during retirement?  Why do you want to avoid (or embrace) risk?  Why are charitable donations important?

Fundraisers – this interview has vitally important thoughts for you to consider.  It will transform your “ask” into real philanthropy so that your organization can experience meaningful success.  Check it out.

Fithian and his late brother, Scott , wrote a book about “above the line planning” :  The Right Side of the Table.  His firm, The Legacy Companies, LLC, have published another book with an interesting title: The Future of You, Providing Clarity Where Life Intersects Wealth.

Want to continue the conversation?  Contact me