Philanthropy Camp for Women

The Giving Season is Upon Us

October 26, 2017

We’re entering the giving season. People tend to give more at this time of year and nonprofit organizations tend to receive more donations in the final months of the year. Why is this?

The clients I’ve worked with are usually inspired to give for myriad reasons other than a tax deduction. So, why do people wait until the end of the year to give? Is it because they’re being asked more at this time of year? How can we change that? How can we be more proactive about our giving? How can we give throughout the year in thoughtful ways?

I hope you’ll join me in an exploration of your giving at one of my upcoming workshops designed to help you create your own vision for giving. You’ll be inspired to give in ways that are most aligned with your values. See below for more details.

Wishing you a joyful giving season and hoping it lasts throughout the year!

Deborah Goldstein

Creating Your Vision for Giving 

The end of the year is just around the corner. And you’re probably already being inundated by requests for donations. How do you decide? How do you avoid feeling overwhelmed by these requests?

Try being more thoughtful about your giving! Create your OWN vision for giving.

In this interactive workshop, I’ll guide participants in:

  • articulating your values
  • identifying your interests
  • picturing your legacy

Register today and enlighten your giving!

I’m pleased to offer this workshop on October 30th, November 27th, and December 10th at Sacred Money Studios and Prosperity Pie Shoppe in Multnomah Village. This lively space is “a place where people gather and practice being in flourishing relationship with money through coaching, classes, community events and best of all, pie!” If you’re local, but not able to join me, be sure to check out this great community resource.


Looking for a Few Good Women

Are you part of a book club, investment group, dinner club, alumni group, or some other collection of awesome women in the Portland area? Are you looking for another way to engage with your friends? Let’s explore giving together!

I’d love to bring Philanthropy Camp for Women to you. Contact me today to schedule!

Do you belong to one of these groups with your spouse/partner and other couples? I’m open to creating a Philanthropy Camp experience that works for you too! Let’s talk.


Resource Highlight—Generation Impact

In the newly released Generation Impact: How Next Gen Donors are Revolutionizing Giving, colleagues Sharna Goldseker and Michael Moody reveal the ambitions of Gen X and Millennial givers. These donors have financial resources far out pacing what we’ve seen before. And they have grand plans for how they’ll achieve impact and make a difference now, not when they retire. Take some time to read about these revolutionary givers. I have a feeling we’ll be hearing a lot more about them in the years ahead.


Spring is in the Air!

April 2, 2015

Spring is in the air! Actually, in Portland, it has been for some time. The first sign for me is always the exquisitely fragrant daphne. Now the cherry trees are blossoming and raining down their petals when the wind and actual raindrops blow through. Daffodils, tulips, and hyacinth have started spreading their color and joy around too.

This reminds me of last spring’s newsletter, where I talked about the origins of the Enlightened Philanthropy logo. The quatrefoil symbolizes cherry blossoms in Chinese culture and also new beginnings. And here I am, at a new beginning once again, setting down roots in Portland.

Thanks to those of you who I’ve met in recent months who are excited about the talents and possibilities I bring back to the area. I look forward to working with you in the months and years ahead. And I look forward to meeting other colleagues as well. Please feel free to share this newsletter.

And, thanks to my colleagues around the country who are open to collaboration. It is a pleasure to work with you and think about how we can bring the message of Enlightened Philanthropy to a wider audience. You can read more below.

Sending you all wishes for a bright, shiny new beginning this spring!

Deborah Goldstein



Purposeful Planning Institute Annual Rendezvous

We’re a few months into the year and I’m already looking forward to the Annual Rendezvous in Colorado, hosted by the Purposeful Planning Institute, this August. Maybe that’s because I’ve just learned that my colleague, Justin Miller of BNY Mellon in San Francisco, and I will be presenting together on Family Philanthropy: What Works and What Doesn’t.

I hope you’ll join us at this “premier event that offers one-of-a-kind learning and networking opportunities.” This year’s Rendezvous “will bring together over 200 individuals representing more than 20 disciplines and professions for two days of collaborative dialogue, keynotes, and breakout sessions centered on best practices for legacy families and families in business. The theme for this year’s event is The Journey to Mastery and throughout the event we will address the importance of the beginner’s mind and allowing yourself to be open to continual learning and growth in the ongoing journey to mastery.”

Since my first time at the Rendezvous two years ago, I’ve been impressed by the quality of attendees, wealth of networking opportunities, fabulous keynote speakers, and interactive nature of the breakout sessions. I hope to see you there!

Want to Share the Experience of Philanthropy Camp for Women?

In the spirit of collaboration, I’ve been talking with my fellow 21/64 trainer, Emily Davis of Emily Davis Consulting, about bringing Philanthropy Camp for Women to the Boulder, Colorado area. Stay tuned for more information as that develops.

Meanwhile, if you’re an advisor looking for an immersive, experiential philanthropy program for your clients or an individual looking to engage a group of friends in a fun exploration of giving back, let’s talk. I’d be more than happy to bring Philanthropy Camp for Women to your town!

If you’d like to hear more about the experience, listen to this Purposeful Planning Institute call I did last year.

Spreading the Message that We All Can Be Philanthropists!

Thank you to my colleague, Peter Johnson of PWJohnson Wealth Management, who I met at the Rendezvous, for the opportunity to speak to an intimate gathering of clients at a private home in Palo Alto last November. It was my pleasure to inspire these individuals to first think of themselves as philanthropists and then explore their values in more depth in order to inform their giving. Rex Northen of Cleantech Open and Wanda Whitehead of Casa di Mir Montessori School also shared stories of their nonprofit work.

If you missed the live event, the follow up webinar in December was recorded and available to listen to here.



Looking for a Few Young Philanthropists

Last year I launched New Voices of Philanthropy, featuring amazing young givers, on the Enlightened Philanthropy Blog. Since then I have had the pleasure of interviewing numerous thoughtful, dedicated, generous young individuals. I’m in search of more philanthropists (college age or younger) who are making a difference in the world. If you know someone I should interview, please let me know. I’d love to share his or her story of giving.

If you’d like to receive these blog posts and others in your inbox, sign up here.


Resource Highlight—Learning to Give

As you know, I’m keenly interested in how we teach the next generation about giving. How can we instill a culture of philanthropy in the youngest among us? It may happen at home, in the classroom, in a youth group setting, or an afterschool club. Whether you’re a parent, grandparent, aunt, uncle, cousin, or caring adult, we each can play a role in teaching children how to give back.

To help in that effort, check out Learning to Give. This site is based on the vision that “All youth are educated and equipped for lifelong engagement in philanthropy as givers of time, talent, and treasure for the common good.” They have resources for teachers, parents, students, youth workers, faith groups, and independent schools.

This spring, take time to talk with a young person in your life about what giving means to you and ask how you can support them in giving back.

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Fall in Love with Giving!

September 10, 2014

This summer I’ve been thinking about communities. What groups am I a part of and what role do I play in them? When does a group start to feel like a community? It goes beyond geography and place. It’s about a sense of connection and belonging. Often, it offers an opportunity to give.

How many communities are you a part of? How are you giving in each of them? Are you giving time, talent, treasure, or ties (your network of colleagues or friends)?

Professionally, I’m involved in various organizations such as the Purposeful Planning Institute, 21/64, Professional Women’s Network of the Monterey Peninsula, and a cadre of youth group advisors. Personally, I take part in a photography group, yoga community, Women’s Wealth Group, and Jewish community. And this is just a taste!

My engagement with the Jewish community has me considering how we contribute. When giving in a group setting, or even discussing it, we enrich our lives in a different way than when we give as individuals. Here on the Monterey Peninsula, every August, Congregation Beth Israel puts on a Jewish Food Festival to introduce others to our cuisine, customs, and traditions and as a fundraiser. While this is only a one-day event, people work tirelessly throughout the year to pull it off. I always look forward to baking during the summer and volunteering the weekend of the event. This is an amazing example of people coming together to give. We each contribute in a way that feels meaningful to us.

I’m happy to give back in other ways too, as you’ll learn in this issue.

Take some time to think about how you contribute to the communities you participate in. Remember why you became a part of them and maybe you’ll fall in love with giving all over again, just like I do every year.

Deborah Goldstein


Deborah Goldstein Appointed Co-Dean of Philanthropy


It is a pleasure to have been selected as the Purposeful Planning Institute’s Co-Dean of Philanthropy. Sharing this appointment is my wonderful colleague, Bruce DeBoskey, of The DeBoskey Group. Bruce is a fellow 21/64 trainer and a Denver-based philanthropic strategist. We look forward to working collaboratively to provide relevant information, resources, and guidance in best practices in philanthropy for our fellow PPI members.

The Purposeful Planning Institute is a “learning center for professionals interested in mastering the Purposeful Planning process, exploring best practices for legacy families and families in business as well as cutting edge processes and techniques.”

Philanthropy Camp for Women Returns Oct. 2!


The fall session of Philanthropy Camp for Women is fast approaching. We will be returning to the historic Asilomar Conference Grounds starting Thursday, October 2 at 6 pm. Have you reserved your place?

Everyone can be a philanthropist! Philanthropy Camp for Women is a great opportunity to explore your philosophy of giving and learn how you can give in alignment with your values. Participants in the first session commented on how invaluable it was to be on this journey with others. It helped open their minds to other perspectives, allowed them to clarify their own giving, and brought peace of mind about their giving.

During this six-week course, participants will discover how to make a difference, learn how to give in a meaningful way, and re-engage with the giving experience!

Register today! Early bird pricing ends September 20.

Advisors: Interested in offering this unique experience for your clients? Click here to read about a streamlined two-day retreat format that could be perfect for you.

TEDxSantaCatalinaSchool: Matters of the Heart


It is a delight and honor to have been invited to speak at the upcoming TEDx event at Santa Catalina School in Monterey on October 17th. This year’s theme, “Matters of the Heart,” is a perfect opportunity to launch a conversation on philanthropy. I look forward to speaking to this group of upper class young women who are already shining leaders in our community. They hope to offer a live-stream, so stay tuned to LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter for the latest. I’ll also share a link to the video in an upcoming newsletter.

Resource Highlight–Engaging the Family in Your Philanthropy


I recently picked up this resource from Foundation Source, “the nation’s largest provider of support and advisory services for private foundations.” Their brief pamphlet, Engaging the Family in Your Philanthropy, highlights why families create foundations and how they often develop two missions—one external, the other internal. It is this latter mission that holds such value for any family. How might a foundation increase family engagement or help to carry on family traditions? For each family it will be different. Take some time to read the advice and examples from Foundation Source clients. We all can learn from families engaging in philanthropy together.

How will you and your family fall in love with giving?


First Philanthropy Camp for Women group (Photo by Kristen Fletcher)

First Philanthropy Camp for Women group (Photo by Kristen Fletcher)

Have you been reading my announcements about Philanthropy Camp for Women on the Monterey Peninsula? Have you wondered if you too could have the opportunity to explore your philanthropy with an experienced guide?

Well, you’re not the only one! And the answer is YES! You too can experience philanthropy camp!

I’m pleased to offer a two-day experience, in your community, for women who are looking to explore their philanthropy further. Advisors, this is a unique value-add for your clients.

Participants get the same great benefits:

  • Discovering that they can be a philanthropist!
  • Reconnecting with their giving
  • Uncovering their values and interests, which will help them focus their giving
  • Exploring how to give in a way that is most meaningful to them
  • Learning how to use tools and fun activities that will help them and their family engage in giving together
  • Developing a Philanthropy Roadmap

Learn more about this experience here.

For other readers, maybe you and a group of friends would like to engage in a more in-depth discussion of giving. This is a fun and interesting conversation for women of all ages. Contact me for more information and to schedule your weekend retreat!



Vol. 2, Issue 2

Summer vacation…the time of year everyone looks forward to. What are you doing this year? Traveling to some far off exotic location? Or staying home and taking advantage of the sights in your own community?

Whatever you do, I hope you’ll think about how you can make a difference. As you may recall, last summer I spent time in Nicaragua, working with two nonprofit organizations to save endangered sea turtles. Several of the young philanthropists I’ve interviewed have talked about the importance of international travel. Their trips to Nicaragua and Bosnia have been life-changing experiences.

Recently, I enjoyed a vacation on Maui and was happy to spend time swimming with turtles as I snorkeled through the coral reefs. I was also pleasantly surprised to see giving all around me. First, my friend and I discovered several local nonprofits when we attended the Earth Day Festival. Another day we saw youth restoring the local beach habitat. And on our final night, we attended a benefit dance to support the local hospitality association.

No matter where you find yourself, there’s always a chance to give. You can bring pencils to the schoolchildren in the remote village you are visiting (see Resource Highlight below for a review of The Promise of a Pencil). You can take time out to pick up trash at the beach or help with a restoration project. Or enjoy shopping at the local farmer’s market or art gallery. I hope you’ll keep an eye out for these opportunities—all of these actions make a difference.

Have a great summer!

Deborah Goldstein



Celebrating Philanthropy Camp for Women!

In April, we wrapped up the inaugural Philanthropy Camp for Women. Women from diverse backgrounds and career paths listened, interacted, and shared their passions for giving back.

Here are just a few of the things they had to say:

“This was a fantastic experience. Each session was chock filled with fun exercises, and special conversations. I felt that I learned a lot, but even more, I developed some ideas, BIG potential plans, met some fun women, and so much more. Put this down as a ‘must do’ for next time it is offered.”
~ Estate planning and tax attorney

“I’m so totally engrossed in the conversations we are having and what I am seeing and learning, I forget to stop and notice what a wonderful job you do in making it all happen. I haven’t felt this engaged in years. What a great, great program!”
~ Certified Public Accountant

“I thought the class was one of the best continuing personal education classes I’ve taken. We had a small group of wonderful women who shared openly, which made the class very informative and eye opening to new perspectives on philanthropy.”
~ Freelance graphic designer/Product developer

I am grateful for our journey together.

Like to learn more about the experience? Listen in as I talk about the Moments of Enlightenment from Philanthropy Camp for Women (recording from Purposeful Planning Institute teleconference in April).

Stay tuned for the announcement of fall dates.

Advisors, interested in offering Philanthropy Camp for Women for your clients? This is a great way to open the door to the philanthropic conversation. Contact me for more details.

quatrefoils-lineWhat is 21/64?

Years ago a colleague told me to check out 21/64. When I did, I found that they train philanthropic advisors like myself. At the time I thought, “some day I’ll take advantage of this opportunity.”

When I decided to focus on multi-generational giving, especially next gen, a couple years later, I knew that it was time to invest in their training.

To learn how this training has impacted my work…read more.


Resource Highlight–Fun Summer Reads!

Are you looking for something fun to read this summer? Do you want to be inspired too? I recommend two great books to take with you on your summer vacation.

The Promise of a Pencil: How an Ordinary Person Can Create Extraordinary Change, by Adam Braun

Nearing his 25th birthday, Adam Braun started Pencils of Promise by depositing $25 in a bank account. As he says, “The biggest of dreams often start with small, unreasonable acts. Most people would have thought that it was crazy to start with the minimum amount, but I wanted to prove that you could start something big no matter how small you begin.” And he’s proven just that. Almost six years later, this for-purpose organization has built more than 200 schools around the world, providing education in communities that had no infrastructure.

The Promise of a Pencil is the inspiring story, outlined with 30 guiding mantras, of how Adam and a growing network of volunteers and advocates helped launch a movement. Throughout the book, Adam shares his personal journey and his encounters with the individuals who have helped shape who he is today. It is a compelling read.

Start Something That Matters, by Blake Mycoskie

Blake Mycoskie, chief shoe giver of TOMS, delivers an easy, fun read in his book, Start Something That Matters. He highlights his experience with TOMS along with that of other innovative organizations that are making a difference in the world. One of the key messages of the book is—we don’t have to wait to do good or to give back. As the book jacket says, “You can find profit, passion, and meaning all at once—right now.”

Blake’s intention is that his book will “be the catalyst of many more organizations and projects making a positive impact on the world.” To support this desire, Blake shares inspiration throughout the pages and challenges each of us to start something that matters. He outlines six simple keys that will help us do just that. What will you start?

For a longer review, visit

Happy reading!


21/64 and Me and You

June 26, 2014

21/64 logoYears ago a colleague told me to check out 21/64. When I did, I found that they train philanthropic advisors like myself. At the time I thought, “some day I’ll take advantage of this opportunity.”

When I decided to focus on multi-generational giving, especially next gen, a couple years later, I knew that it was time to invest in their training. 21/64 is a leader in the field of multi-generation family philanthropy and has worked with the next gen for over a decade. Of all the potential professional development opportunities, this training was the most tailored to the next steps I wanted to take with my business.

21/64 Training

“Some day” finally came last year. I was nervous. I didn’t know what to expect. Who would I meet? What would I learn? Would this investment be worth it?

By the time we got to lunch on the first day, I knew my investment was going to pay off. The two-day training blew me away. Everything about it was top-notch—from the expert facilitators to my fellow colleagues who joined me on this journey.

We experienced each new tool for ourselves before discussing how we’d use it with our clients. So, when I facilitate a family or a group meeting, I know what it’s like to take time and think about my values and make the tough decisions to prioritize them. I know it’s not easy. And I know that within us, we each have the answers.

Exploring the next gen donor and generational differences in giving

Exploring the next gen donor and generational differences in giving

I’d been hearing about generational differences in recent years at fundraising conferences. However, it wasn’t until we reviewed the associated traits and values of each generation, that the personalities started to come to life for me. Now this is one of my favorite tools to facilitate. We each interact with multiple generations on a daily basis, so understanding how and why we’re different can help explain a lot. The major world events that occurred during our formative years shape who we are and how we interact in the world.

It makes sense that I’d have this revelation while training with an organization that has chosen a name that represents the four generations over the age of 21 who are now engaging in philanthropy. Twenty-one-year-olds are coming of age and beginning to explore their philanthropic identity, if they haven’t already. And 64-year-olds are starting to think about their legacy, their impact in the world. Everyone in between these ages, and above and below them, can engage in philanthropy. Now I better understand what motivates each generation’s giving.

21/64 Tools

21/64 Tools

I could go on and on about each well-researched and tested tool. I was so excited to fill up my toolbox! The nerves were fading away and I was enjoying learning alongside other advisors in the field, whether independent or with community foundations or giving circles.

This was, by far, the best professional development experience of my career. We closed by sharing one take-away from our time together. For me, it was validation that my process for working with families was solid. Now I had more “meat on the bones” to support our work together.

I’ve taken this experience and integrated what I’ve learned into everything I do—creating Philanthropy Camp for Women, engaging audiences when I speak, and working with families and teens.

Taking it to the Next Level

In the year or so since my training, I took it upon myself to meet with fellow trainers around the country—San Francisco, Los Angeles, Seattle, Denver. I wanted to understand how they were making the most of the tools. It felt great to connect with this small, select group of people, to talk one-on-one about our experience and how it can help philanthropic families. I felt proud to call myself a 21/64-certified consultant.

A couple of these conversations with colleagues in the Bay Area sparked an idea—let’s create a local group. Our first trainers gathering was this spring. For someone who works independently, it’s a treat to gather with like-minded individuals. I was pleased to receive positive feedback about the idea and look forward to the sharing, learning, and growing we can all do as we support one another moving forward.

This spring, I also chose to invest once again in the alumni training.

I returned to New York a different person than I was a year ago. More confident, I walked into the conference room excited to see colleagues from my initial training and one-on-one meetings. We all were more relaxed. We knew what to expect this time around—another incredible opportunity to learn about ourselves as we explore how to best support the philanthropic endeavors of our clients.

This time around, the focus was family systems and family dynamics. See what I mean when I say “learning about ourselves”? Discussing topics like these lends to a lot of self-reflection. Again, by experiencing activities first for ourselves, we become better equipped to navigate the sometimes challenging family dynamics we face when working with clients.

On a lighter note, we also explored how to incorporate play into our work with families. I’m especially excited to integrate this element into my experiences with the next gen. We rarely take time to play and yet it can be such a valuable tool. We seem to have forgotten this lesson from our childhood.

I left the second training with a sense of fulfillment and a desire to keep the momentum alive with my local colleagues.

And, I want to continue to put these tools to work for YOU. How can I help YOU find meaningful ways to give back and make a difference?


Deborah at Philanthropy Camp for Women  Photo by Kristen Fletcher

Deborah at Philanthropy Camp for Women
Photo by Kristen Fletcher

In case you missed it, Enlightened Philanthropy was featured in the March 27th edition of Off 68, a local weekly publication put out by The Californian in Salinas.

Click here to read the article and learn more about my work with individuals, families, and teens.

Find out more about Philanthropy Camp for Women or the speaking opportunities mentioned in the article on my website.


Why Do You Give?

March 31, 2014

Take a few minutes and consider—why do you give?

If it helps, think about some recent donations you made. Why did you choose to give money to an organization? Or why did you decide to volunteer to help put on that event?

Do you give because you:

  • Are compelled by religious tradition?
  • Want to give back?
  • Want to support a cause that you care about?
  • Want recognition?
  • Want tax benefits?
  • Want to build a stronger community?
  • Feel good when you do it?

Anne Frank quoteReminding ourselves why we give allows us to reconnect with our giving. It also serves as reinforcement of the giving we are already doing.

I often open conversations with clients or presentations for groups with this question, so I thought I knew all the possible answers. However, I’ve found in reviewing my own giving history, facilitating Philanthropy Camp for Women, and participating in weekly Why I Give chats on Twitter, that there are many more reasons to give than I thought.

Philanthropy Camp for Women

The women who have joined Philanthropy Camp are helping me see that why we give isn’t as easy a question to answer as I thought.

Here are just a few of their reasons for giving:

  • I can.
  • I see a need.
  • I was asked.
  • I want to make a difference.
  • I feel guilty if I don’t.
  • I find it’s a way to meet new people and make friends.
  • I like to help people help themselves.
  • I like to pay it forward.
  • I know my small donation can make a big difference in someone else’s life.
  • I feel a spiritual connection.
  • I know it’s the right thing to do.
  • I care about the person or animal or environment and I want to feel more connected to them.
  • I want to combine my efforts with others to synergistically effect change.
  • I want to feel part of something larger.
  • I want to feel like a good person.
  • I was once a recipient and now I want to give.

What is interesting to note, and you may have noticed this too when you reviewed your own reasons for giving, is that we don’t have just one reason we give. The reason may depend on the situation. Or it may depend on who’s asking.

Why I Give

Last year, I discovered the Why I Give chat on Twitter. This “global generosity movement” attracts givers from all over the world. You too can follow @WhyIGivechat and join us Tuesday nights (5-6 pm PST) with #WhyIGive (hash tag created by WhyIGivechat and Michael Chatman).

I find it truly inspiring to read why other people give. There’s something motivating and comforting about joining with other givers in a celebration of generosity.

I’ve also learned from participating in the chats week after week that again, there are many more reasons for giving than I could imagine. Giving is very personal.

Here are some of my favorites:




WhyIGive chat



WhyIGive chat



WhyIGive chat



WhyIGive chat



WhyIGive chat



WhyIGive chat



WhyIGive chat













Do any of these reasons resonate with you? Or do you have a reason that hasn’t been shared? Please feel free to share your own reason for giving in the comments below.

I hope to see you on Twitter too. I’m @dagphilanthropy.


Happy Spring! I love this time of year. Color starts to pop up all over the place. Cherry blossoms bloom and then flutter to the ground in a rain of pretty pink petals when the breezes blow. It’s a time of renewal and rebirth, of new beginnings.

A few years ago, I visited the Chinese Garden in Portland, where I grew up. I was pleasantly surprised to find their entry gate was the same quatrefoil shape I had chosen as my logo. In inquiring about its meaning, I found it represents cherry blossoms in Chinese culture, a symbol for new beginnings—fitting for my new venture. Now I’ve come to find this shape wherever I travel throughout the world. In fact, it first caught my eye in Buenos Aires years ago. Now I photograph my quatrefoil findings, seeing it as a reminder of new beginnings and the work I am so passionate about.

I encourage you to take some time this spring to look at your giving again, with a fresh perspective, with renewed energy and desire to make a difference. Ask yourself: why do I give? Does my giving make me feel good? Am I giving to organizations or causes that I’m still passionate about? If you’re not feeling good about your giving, take some time to think about why and what you can do to change this.

These are the types of questions we’ve been exploring on our philanthropic journey at Philanthropy Camp for Women, which started earlier this month. If you weren’t able to participate this time, there are several opportunities coming up to hear more about what we’re doing. Read more below.

I’d also like to extend a special thank you to Kristen Fletcher for the header photo. I appreciate her documenting the fun we’re having at Philanthropy Camp.

Enjoy the spring blooms!

Deborah Goldstein


Philanthropy Camp for Women Launches!


Two weeks ago, the first-ever Philanthropy Camp for Women launched at the beautiful Asilomar Conference Grounds. I am delighted to play with this lovely group at a venue known for its tradition of hosting women’s events. I am honored to be their guide on this six-week philanthropic journey. We’re exploring why we give, how we feel about our giving, how our earliest memories of giving shape how we give as adults, and much, much more.

If you want to learn more about this experience, I’ll be hosting a webinar in June to share the basics of Philanthropy Camp for Women. Keep an eye out for details as we get closer to the date. As always, if you or someone you know is interested in participating in the future, please contact me.

Also, on Tuesday, April 22nd, I’ll be the guest speaker for the Purposeful Planning Institute’s weekly teleconference. I’ll be discussing Moments of Enlightenment from Philanthropy Camp for Women. If you’d like to join the call, contact Julie Dorosz and she can provide you with details.

Enlightened Philanthropy to Present Locally


In May, I have two opportunities to present on Philanthropy: A Fresh Perspective. While the same title, the talks are aimed at two distinctly different audiences.

First, I’m pleased to be one of the speakers at Hayashi Wayland’s upcoming Non-Profit Leadership Summit on Thursday, May 22nd. The summit is designed to further the professional development of current and future leaders serving the non-profit community through education and discussion. Having attended two previous summits, I can attest to the quality of the programming it offers. They encourage attorneys, chief financial officers, controllers, exempt organization consultants, exempt organization board members, executive directors, and program managers to attend. For more information and to register, click here.

Second, I’m looking forward to presenting at the Carmel Foundation on May 28th from 2:30-3:30 pm as part of their Wednesday Program. During this presentation, we’ll focus more on the donors’ perspective and explore guiding questions to help attendees think more about their values as a foundation for giving. The presentation is open to members of the Carmel Foundation and the general public, free of charge. For more information, check out their website.

I hope to see you there!

New Voices of Philanthropy


Several months ago I launched this new feature on the Enlightened Philanthropy Blog. Since then I have had the honor of interviewing some amazing young individuals. I’m proud to feature these young philanthropists in my monthly series: New Voices of Philanthropy. I’m always on the lookout for these bright lights among us. If you know someone I should be sure to interview, please let me know. I’d love to share his or her story of giving.

Youth Philanthropy Connect: Weaving a Web of Support


Last year, I had a great time at Youth Philanthropy Connect. Will 2014 be the year you attend? I highly recommend this conference for families.

Youth Philanthropy Connect’s 4th Annual Conference will be held in Anaheim, CA at the Grand Californian Hotel at the Disneyland Resort from July 24-26, 2014. It features sessions geared toward youth philanthropists ages 8-21 and the adults who guide them. Attendees have the opportunity to learn about the ins and outs of effective philanthropy and youth programs, while also having time to connect with their peers in a collaborative environment. Attendees can make the most of their conference experience with plenary keynotes, networking and team-building opportunities, the YPC Giving Circle, workshop sessions, time in Disneyland, and more!

Register today! The early bird deadline ends April 15!

Resource Highlight—Focusing Philanthropy


People often ask me to recommend nonprofits for them to make a donation. The question is not as easy as it seems. So much depends on a variety of factors, which I explore with my clients, in order to provide them with a customized menu that aligns with their values, interests, and definition of success.

However, I’ve recently learned about Focusing Philanthropy, an organization dedicated to vetting nonprofits working in the areas of: increasing income, building community infrastructure, and achieving self-sufficiency. My conversation with their Executive Vice President, Kelly Hewitt King, illuminated their extensive due diligence—before and after funding. I was quite impressed with the work they are doing. If these are areas of interest to you and you want to learn more about their process and the organizations they recommend for support, I encourage you to check out their website.



It happened again. A woman came up to me and said, “Oh, I wish I could be a philanthropist.” I answered emphatically, “YOU CAN.”

My name is Deborah and I am a philanthropist. I want everyone to be able to clearly own this term, just as I do. In fact, it is part of my philosophy—everyone can be a philanthropist!

Defining Philanthropy

Philanthropy, at its root, means “love of humanity.” It’s as simple as that. If you can love your fellow human beings, you can be a philanthropist. We all have that capacity.

Yet, in our society, we’ve come to think that we need to have A LOT of money to call ourselves a philanthropist. I think it’s high time we change that perspective. Rather than people coming up to me and stating their dream of being a philanthropist, I want them to come up to me and say, “I’m a philanthropist too!”

Philanthropy is about SO MUCH more than money. It’s about giving our time, talent, and our ties. Here are a few ways I do each of these:

  • I give my time by taking a volunteer trip to save sea turtles in Nicaragua.
  • I give my talent by baking for the annual Jewish Food Festival at Congregation Beth Israel.
  • I give my ties when I sign a petition to help protect the marine environment and then share that opportunity with all my friends via Facebook.
  • AND, I give my treasure (or money) to places like my alma mater, Wittenberg University.

How do you give your time, talent, ties, or treasure?

Redefining Philanthropist

Image from One Percent Foundation

Image from One Percent Foundation

Our society has come to associate older, rich, white men with philanthropy. So, young people think they aren’t old enough to be a philanthropist (check out New Voices of Philanthropy to read about young philanthropists disproving this stereotype), middle class individuals think they don’t have enough money to call themselves a philanthropist, people of color wonder how they fit into this world, and women don’t think this word applies to them.

There is room for all of us! And I want to empower women to own this word. Last week, I heard a young woman share her story of how she became a philanthropist. Amazingly, at the age of 12, she decided to own this word. She too was a philanthropist. It was inspirational to hear how she came to this realization.

I’d love for us all to become comfortable using the words philanthropy and philanthropist. They don’t have to be BIG, serious words that only certain people can use.  We can redefine them for ourselves.

Why Philanthropy Camp for Women?

Philanthropy Camp for Women will be an opportunity to do just that! To get in touch with your inner philanthropist! To understand why it is you give. To reconnect with your values and align those with your giving. And to consider ALL the myriad ways you give. This is my gift to you, the women of my community.

Did you know that women are more likely to give? Women typically give more. And women make the majority of giving decisions in families. So it’s time to step up and see that you too can be a philanthropist. YOU can achieve that dream of being a philanthropist.

Make 2014 the year you say, “I am a philanthropist!”

Click for more information about Philanthropy Camp for Women and register TODAY!