Grassroots Advocacy Is Hard Work But Clearly Effective

Grassroots Advocacy Is Hard Work But Clearly Effective

Dr. Elinor Ostrom of Indiana University won the 2009 Nobel Prize in economics for her research into the role of voluntary associations in solving a wide range of public challenges. Typically, society manages its “public assets” (i.e. fish in the ocean, lumber in public forests, etc.) in one of two ways in order to avoid uncontrolled consumption. First, society treats the public asset like a private asset and submits its consumption to market forces. A good example is offshore oil leases in which potential users competitively bid to lease the “land” and extract oil. Second, society can manage public assets […]

When Funders Should Feel Guilty About A Bankrupt Nonprofit

Last year, Grantmakers for Effective Organizations (GEO) issued a new report by Nancy Burd titled “On The Money” the premise of which (in my view) was to shame donors into recognizing their culpability for the demise of what would otherwise be worthwhile nonprofits. Perhaps GEO now expects to see donor flagellation on a massive scale. But, Hold the whips! The report protests that there are just too many nonprofits and too few dollars. So, what’s new? Every day, nonprofits fold their cards and quit the game and now they’re doing it in record numbers as the economy crawls back from […]

Great Ossification!

Darwin didn’t discover private foundations. If, instead of exploring the Galapagos Islands in the Beagle, he had landed amidst a community populated entirely by private foundations, he would most certainly not have concluded that the survival of a species depends on the speed, cunning, and determination of its strongest members. Rather, he might have observed that the members rarely adapt to external conditions and we may never have understood anything about the survival of a species except for our small distorted slice of perpetuity. Even the rare mortality was most frequently the result of self-inflicted “sunset” provisions. Some observers of […]

Dedicated To

This website is dedicated to those who give of themselves and their treasure for the benefit of others, asking nothing in return. Very often, philanthropists are misunderstood by the public and even the recipients of their donations.  Philanthropists are occasionally motivated to receive the recognition that goes with a gift. Sometimes they are motivated because they expect something in return. But, in my experience, they are most frequently motivated out of their love for others and their attempt to be helpful. That help is sometimes misguided in the details but like all of us, philanthropists live a learn too. I […]

Collective Impact Is NOT Sustainability

It seems that “Collective Impact” is all the latest buzz in philanthropy but some folks are using it when they really mean “Sustainability”. Here is a short outline of my thoughts on the differences and interaction between the concepts of sustainability and collective impact for funders. What do you think? Collective Impact is a grant making framework for social and community change which includes multiple funders and agencies who develop a common agenda, a shared measurement system, standardized and frequent communications, mutually reinforcing group activities that support success, and the coordination and leadership of a respected backbone organization. Sustainability is […]

Philoptima Launches Burnished Web Presence

Dateline New Orleans.  Monday, February 17, 2014, Dr. Byron Harrell, Managing Partner announced the launch of the new website for Philoptima Consulting. “I am very excited about our new look and the feel of putting first things first on our website”, Harrell said.  The site is much easier to navigate but also retains the most popular elements of our old website.  Our Service Line is upgraded and reflects our team and set of skills better than ever. He noted “This new site would not have been possible without the expert and professional team at Point2Point led by Senior Web Developer, Michael […]