The Least Expensive Gift You’ll Ever Make

Our whole community was deeply saddened to learn of the passing of a couple of Door County’s most generous souls. Ruth Barker and Lee Traven, two absolutely wonderful people who lived long and inspiring lives, each left this world in April. Ruth Barker and her late husband Hartley were named by the Door County CommunityContinue reading “The Least Expensive Gift You’ll Ever Make”

Firepits and the Fourth of July

Of all the federal holidays throughout the year, I enjoy the Fourth of July most of all. At Christmas we’re expected to go shopping and buy things for each other. Thanksgiving has become nine hours of football, combined with a huge meal, then followed by a week’s worth of turkey sandwiches. Sadly too many haveContinue reading “Firepits and the Fourth of July”

A Study of Charitable Giving in Wealthy Households

Apparently the charities of our community are doing something right! Ninety-one percent of high net worth households have “some” or a “great deal” of confidence in the ability of America’s non-profit organizations to effectively address the challenges facing our society. As a comparison, only 25 percent of these same households have any confidence at allContinue reading “A Study of Charitable Giving in Wealthy Households”

The Worst Charities in America

The Tampa Bay Times and the Center for Investigative Reporting recently published a list of “America’s 50 Worst Charities.” Collectively these 50 organizations raised $1.3 billion during the last decade but they handed more than $1 billion of that to paid for-profit fundraising corporations. That means on average, that less than 25 cents out ofContinue reading “The Worst Charities in America”

Curing Donor Fatigue: The Search for Fulfillment

Giving, at its highest levels, is gratifying for the donor. I have seen it for myself countless times during my two decades working in philanthropy. The words “joy” and “pleasure” come to mind, but they don’t quite capture the experience. The most generous people I know give back because it’s incredibly fulfilling, as if philanthropyContinue reading “Curing Donor Fatigue: The Search for Fulfillment”

Giving is Not a Synonym for Shopping

Since the early part of 20th century, Thanksgiving has been the unofficial the start of the holiday gift buying season. However, in 1939, Thanksgiving was to fall on November 30, allowing for a mere 24 days of shopping before Christmas. This sent retailers into a panic. The presidents of Gimbels, Lord & Taylor and otherContinue reading “Giving is Not a Synonym for Shopping”

Which is More Valuable: In-Kind or Cash Gifts?

A colleague recently asked which was more valuable to a charity – when someone makes an in-kind gift or when they write check? The most common “in-kind” gift is a contribution of a tangible item such as when you donate canned goods to a food pantry. A check, of course, is just another form ofContinue reading “Which is More Valuable: In-Kind or Cash Gifts?”

Business Giving is Good for Business

Kaaren Northrop and her family are the epitome of business generosity. As the proprietors of Main Street Market, their company has long been known as one of the most generous in Northern Door County. “My mom always says that we give back because this community has been so good to us,” she says. “I wouldContinue reading “Business Giving is Good for Business”

If You Think Money Can’t Buy You Happiness Then You Don’t Know Where to Shop

Research psychologists have long documented a causal relationship between individual wealth and personal contentment. In other words, the consensus among scientists is that money does indeed buy happiness. Intuitively, this makes sense. Having a certain degree of wealth makes it easier to overcome the stress of many of life’s challenges – stresses which presumably leadContinue reading “If You Think Money Can’t Buy You Happiness Then You Don’t Know Where to Shop”

The Man Who Taught Me About Generosity

“In the morning there was a big wind blowing and the waves were running high up on the beach and he was awake a long time before he remembered that his heart was broken.” These words of Ernest Hemingway come to mind as I sit outside on this beautiful Hawaiian morning. A few days agoContinue reading “The Man Who Taught Me About Generosity”