• Fred's Blog

    Can I Get Back to You?

    Most often as a favor to an author or publisher, I have likely read as many books about fund-raising as any other topic. Some are classics like The Seven Faces of Philanthropy by Russ Prince or Henri Nouwen’s A Spirituality of Fundraising, but most, frankly, are either focused on how to minister to major donors assuming they are sad, dysfunctional and needy people or how to quickly discern their passions to align your organization with their interests. Even though I consider Peter Harris a friend, I put aside the book he wrote with Rod Wilson, Keeping Faith in Fundraising, I received last month. But then Rod commented on one of my recent blogs, asking if I had read their book. I found it in the stack and started reading quickly so I could give him a…

  • Fred's Blog

    Money in the Heart

    “A wise person should have money in his head but not in his heart.” Jonathan Swift One of the earliest scandals around insider trading involved Ivan Boesky. While many have forgotten him he lives on through the one quote attributed to him – and his being the basis for the character of Gordon Gekko (played by Michael Douglas) in the film, Wall Street: “Greed is good.” It was one of those unforgettable (and maybe unforgiveable) lines that summed up an era in one way but signaled the advent of another that was more irresponsible and harmful than even his own. In some ways Boesky was merely a precursor – or…

  • Fred's Blog

    An Unexpected Inheritance

    Over the last 30 years I have listened to parents wrestle with how to best pass wealth to their children. But the more complicated issue arises when they have to decide which of their children is most likely to handle the blessing well and not to be hobbled with an inheritance. What is fair? What is enough to express love but not spoil? Those who deserve the most are not always easy to discern. Take the case of the Levites. The people became impatient waiting for Moses to return from meeting with God on Mt. Sinai and created a golden calf to worship. After Moses discovered what they had done he shouted, “Whoever is for the Lord, come to…

  • Fred's Blog

    Never Let Go

    My mother died of Parkinson’s disease in 2004, and my father passed away in 2007. Neither of their deaths was sudden or tragic but the end of a long life for both. Friends told my siblings and me we would grieve in our own ways and there would be no predicting how our grief would show up or affect us. Of course, there are principles and common patterns of grief we can read about in books, but our friends were right. Each of us has worked through it in our own unique way. In letters and cards now from friends we hear often about the passing of parents so when I read this passage from Mary…