Transformation Through Virtous Philanthropy

Mission: To inspire generations to abundantly fulfill their wealth legacy.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Bookmark: Encore: Finding Work That Matters in the Second Half of Life

Each month, Margaret features a person, place or favorite thing that inspires her, with the hope that it will inspire you, too.

Golf is great, but an "Encore Career" may bring more satisfaction and yes, perhaps even happiness to a generation of boomers who find themselves getting in the mood to take up Peggy Lee's mantra, "Keep on dancing...if that's all there is..." And that dancing is leading them right off the dance floor and directly into the freedom to do some fancy footwork in an "Encore Career."

Marc Freedman's book, Encore: Finding Work That Matters in the Second Half of Life, tells the stories of men and women moving beyond their midlife careers into a new phase of work. This work not only offers continued income, but the promise and reality of a more meaningful life by doing work that personally connects their values to their vision for a better world.

If it is true, as many economists purport, that the American Dream has turned into a nightmare, then perhaps there is a transformation taking place among several generations. As we join together, we create a new American Dream that includes caring, sharing and "Encore Careers" as part of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP). Conspicuous Consumption is making way for Conspicuous Compassion in the workplace.

Find Encore at

Receive reviews of my favorite things direct to your e-mail inbox. Visit and join my mailing list!

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Ask Margaret

Q: A recent article, “Two-Thirds of Donors Plan to Cut Back on Giving This Fall,” appeared in The Chronicle of Philanthropy. If such is the case, what can charities do to be proactive?

A: Continue to subscribe to the KISS principle. The media, especially 24/7 TV and talk radio, has many smart, educated and normally happy people running around like Chicken Little believing “The sky is falling.” Is saying it's so making it happen? Are we wishing ourselves more doom and gloom than necessary?

OK, what does all this have to do with keeping donors on the books and happy, and perhaps even increasing their year-end contributions? Here are three KISS ideas:

1) Say “thank you,”
2) Say “thank you” again and,
3) Say “thank you” one more time.

Do this three times before the end of the year. And with each “thank you,” whether by phone, handwritten note or e-mail, give one compelling story of how the donor’s contribution has impacted a life or issue to make the world a better place. Make it personal and tell a story. Remember words from the heart go to the heart.

Stay connected to the heartbeat of your donor with a sincere “thank you” and a genuine story.

I welcome thoughtful responses and additional questions from readers. E-mail me at

Friday, November 11, 2011

Is the Phoenix Rising in Philanthropy?

Perhaps, all the chaos and uncertainly in the world is the perfect nesting place from which the mythical, sacred fire bird is about to be reborn to reignite the flame of compassion, goodwill and benevolence in the human heart. In Greek mythology, Herodotus tells of the bird’s unique ability to be consumed by fire and reborn from the ashes. Throughout the ages, the colorful and stately phoenix’s appearance has been depicted as a sign of a coming age of prosperity and greatness for people and of nations.

Recently, I’ve been pondering, in what personification the phoenix might rise, if indeed I allow myself the luxury to indulge in a mystical and meditative moment or two, as the frantic milieu of daily life whizzes by at warp speed. From my perspective, I believe it will manifest itself in the philanthropic arena. Perhaps not apparent to the wealth holders and well-to-do philanthropists, but rather the rising will take place in the emergence of a new cohort of philanthropic advisors for the wealth holder to dialogue with about their dreams and aspirations for family and community.

Lori Denison, Tony DeBruyn, Danielle Cameron, Phil Cubeta, and
Margaret May. May, president of the Institute for Women and Wealth
and co-facilitator for the West Palm Beach Chartered Advisor in
Philanthropy (CAP) study group welcomes Phil Cubeta of
The American College, Bryn Mawr, PA, professor in
philanthropy, and the Sallie and Bill Wallace endowed chair in
philanthropy; as well as Tony DeBruyn, Capital Planning, Dallas,
TX, at a reception in their honor at the Commnity Foundation of
Palm Beach and Martin County, FL, on October 24, 2011.

These advisors will have the expertise, according to Phil Cubeta, the author of the Chartered Advisor in Philanthropy (CAP) curriculum at The American College, to “Take a leadership role in convening the [ultimate] planning team needed to accomplish the wealth holder’s highest aspirations for self, family, and society.”

Cubeta is the Sallie B. and William B. Wallace Chair in Philanthropy at the college and recently visited with members of the West Palm Beach CAP multi-disciplinary study group. They are 24 highly regarded thought-leaders, dedicating 18 months of time, talent and money to co-create the symmetry and synergy for a “network of good” in the community. It was evident from Cubeta’s remarks, and those of Dallas CAP participant Tony DeBruyn, that sparks are beginning to ignite among professional advisors. These sparks are kindling a common purpose around a shared body of knowledge to help wealth holders do great things for the charities they love and support.

Could this be the new phoenix rising in philanthropy? CAP study groups seem to be spreading like wildfire around our country.

To learn more about women and philanthropy, follow Margaret May on Facebook, Twitter @MM_Philanthropy, or visit and sign up for her monthly e-newsletters.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Philanthropic Therapy: Can Meaning and Money Mix?

Recently, I had the occasion to speak at the national Financial Planning Association (FPA) Conference in San Diego. One of the benefits of participating in such a venue is the joy of hearing the best of the best thought leaders in the financial planning profession.

Once again, I was rewarded with an “aha moment” as I experienced George Kinder’s life planning and financial coaching session. The Kinder Institute of Life Planning takes a holistic approach when designing a wealth holder’s financial plan. Holistic to the point that one of the Institute’s participants, CFP Rick Kahler, in Rapid City, South Dakota, is a leading proponent and co-founder of the Healing Money Issues Program.

Kahler and his colleagues at the Financial Therapy Association believe this emerging field of financial therapy, a very sensitive and highly emotional profession, can help clients understand and work through the issues blocking their ability to deal effectively with money and life planning.

All this leads me to the question, could such a concept, under the right circumstances and with properly trained and qualified practitioners, benefit those in the field of giving philanthropic advice to wealth holders? Would there be a safe space for individuals with wealth who are searching for the meaning of their money during their lifetime to openly discuss their fear, hopes, and dreams? Could a dialogue take place that would ethically and emotionally help clients discover and understand their life-stories about money? And in this setting would the dialogue help foster a cultural shift in society’s consciousness that would allow a free flowing and honest conversation as to the good money can do to bring more balance and harmony into the world?

It’s a fact, “Money Makes the World Go ‘Round,” so let’s find a way to get on the merry-go-round and grab the brass ring for the greater good.

Stuart Wilde, author of The Little Money Bible, says, “Money is just a symbol we use to facilitate the gathering of memories and experiences. It assists in interaction with others, and it allows us to come to concepts of honor and integrity, fairness and compassion.”

Is this the meaning of money that so many are looking for in their philanthropic life planning? And if so, is there a way philanthropic therapy can make that happen?

To learn more about women and philanthropy, follow Margaret May on Facebook, Twitter @MM_Philanthropy, or visit and sign up for her monthly e-newsletters.