More Important Stuff School Doesn’t Teach

5 05 2008

So the same “preemptive” do-it-yourself rules apply to learning philanthropy, then, that apply to everything else? School is not just unnecessary but obstructionist to education, if the main goal really is to chart your own best course, to learn how to be happy and productive with in your own life, in your own life:

Colleges, hospitals and myriad other charities are applying ways to measure their own effectiveness, including staff-time-to-donation ratios. Development offices now have quarterly gift goals. They are working on the Big Ask.

While plenty of schools teach fund-raising, there are no advanced degrees in how to be a philanthropist, turn down a request or shrink the amount of a gift that is being sought.

There is a way to avoid awkward situations like that lunch with your old college chum and the fund-raising pro. It’s called pre-emptive philanthropy. By practicing it you will probably feel happier about the gifts you do make, and you will give in ways that have more impact. . .

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