Friday, December 19, 2003

Pen and paper, PDA and text messaging

How does technology really change longstanding ways of working? I am by no means the first person to ask this question, but it came back to me when I received - on paper by the US postal service - a copy of a speech delivered - in person, from behind a lectern I'm sure - a speech on the digital humanities.

Now, the sender could have emailed me the paper, or directed me to the URL link for the homepage of the speech's author.

Instead, I received a document that I could stick in my briefcase and read in comfort (well, relative to staring at a computer screen) on the train home.

As I read it, I though how I should respond to the sender. In a handwritten letter, mailed to him in New York. After I had time to reflect on it. Instead of jotting a quick email.

But now I have to figure out what to do with the document. I can't file it easily, as I don't have it electronically. As I am no longer an official academic, I long ago lost my file boxes of random artifacts, ideas, and interesting sources (though I still have a large pile of newspaper clippings on the floor in my office).

The immediate power of the piece - making me think about how, in ways big and small - technology has changed how I work, how I think, how I find and store information, how I interact with colleagues, introduce myself to people, and distribute my own writing. Its worth thinking about for all us.

Tuesday, December 16, 2003

My favorite new quote on philanthropy

San Francisco Magazine's Jnauary 2004 issue features a story on The Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation. In attempting to make the shenanigans at this foundation interesting, the author points to the tight ties between the Board and Staff and big business ( unusual), makes claim of impressive (er...I mean excessive) spending on the foundation offices, and uncovers an illicit romance within the staff. Not very new stuff, but lots of fun when its all in one place. My favorite quote " If producers of TV reality shows really want to expose the face of human paranoia, they should take their cameras inside San Francisco's philanthropy community. Fear is definitely the factor that keeps people from admitting in public what they're saying in private. Enviros and consultants don't want to spoil their chances of tapping the Moore money well, abd other foundation executives don't want to jeapoardize working with Coleman and crew on a joint grant."

I've joked for years that "Philanthropy Consultant" should be the next new drama series on network TV - haven't we all had enough of emergency rooms and court rooms? and now we finally admit the real twist to making such a profession interesting enough for average TV viewers - fear, paranoia and jealousy. Better yet, sounds like a soap opera.

Friday, December 05, 2003

Bernholz on products in the philanthropic marketplace

Lucy Bernholz is quoted in a recent San Jose Mercury News story on donor advised funds.
Mercury News | 12/05/2003 | S.J. foundation forms fund with Citigroup
The early reviews are in.

Find out what the experts are saying about Bernholz's latest book: Creating Philanthropic Capital Markets: The Deliberate Evolution and then buy your copy today.

“Lucy Bernholz is one of the leading thinkers on the present and future course of philanthropy. Her writings are always a step ahead of the rest and this book is no exception. Her thoughts and analysis on the philanthropic sector, where it is headed and what is required from leaders like us, are both timely and visionary. She urges us to reimagine ourselves as an industry and identifies the practical steps we can take as donors and foundations to build philanthropic capital markets that will help us achieve our social missions.”

Alexa Cortes Culwell, CEO
Charles and Helen Schwab Foundation

“Now that all the philanthropic hype of the late 90’s has died down, what are the true, key trends for the future? What really matters? Bernholz articulately identifies the vital issues we all must focus on if we are going to capitalize on those trends and optimize philanthropy’s future.”

Paul Shoemaker, Director
Social Venture Partners Seattle

"Business success relies on networks – why would philanthropy be any different? Lucy Bernholz has charted how families and individuals are building "giving portfolios" by using multiple products and services within the philanthropic sector. She also challenges the philanthropic service sector to evolve to best serve these donors and communities. For people just getting started in giving - and for those already involved - this analysis provides practical insights into how to get the greatest results from their philanthropy."
Jeff Shields, Vice President
U.S. Trust Company

“Lucy Bernholz combines the rigor of a trained scholar with the street smarts of an experienced practitioner. This combination makes her an indispensable guide to the philanthropic marketplace. Creating Philanthropic Capital Markets provides her most provocative theories and visions, and therefore is a must read for anyone who wants to understand, influence or participate effectively in what she calls the new era of commercial charity. “

Katherine Fulton, Partner
Global Business Network and the Monitor Group

"Lucy Bernholz' critical analysis and clear language has captured the key issues in today's philanthropy and made it accessible to the non-technical reader. At the Jewish Community Foundation of Los Angeles, we were able to take a Bernholz article and distribute it to our leadership to help us focus our discussion around new strategic directions."
Marvin I. Schotland, President and CEO
Jewish Community Foundation of Greater Los Angeles

"Lucy Bernholz's newest book is a lively and engaging exploration of the dynamic new philanthropy industry in America. It functions as a kind of ‘charitable GPS’ guiding the reader across the fascinating, varied, and shifting terrain of 21st Century charitable giving. But more importantly, it offers a well-conceived blueprint of new ways that private charitable resources can-and should-be better leveraged for greater effectiveness and impact in the public benefit sector."

Peter Hero, President
Community Foundation Silicon Valley

Creating Philanthropic Capital Markets presents practical strategies for re-imagining philanthropy. It suggests that the resources of individual philanthropic players -- people and institutions -- can have a far greater impact, provide more satisfaction, and contribute to a better world if the system of philanthropy as a whole is redesigned. Through a coherent framework for pursuing improvement, the book suggests new ways for individuals and organizations to invest grant funds, approach regulatory structures that guide giving, and define their goals, activities, outcomes, and achievements.

Creating Philanthropic Capital Markets: The Deliberate Evolution Lucy Bernholz
New York: John Wiley & Sons, Inc. 2004
ISBN: 0-471-44852-4
Hardcover 288 pages
January 2004
US $45.00
Order yours now at

Creating Philanthropic Capital Markets