The Virtuous Circle of Gratitude

“We believe that we have established a rather easily implemented strategy for improving one’s level of well-being,” write Robert Emmons and Michael McCullough. “Our results provide some important findings that have not been reported in the empirical literature on happiness. There do appear to exist benefits to regularly focusing on one’s blessings.” Using the dryContinue reading “The Virtuous Circle of Gratitude”

Your Generosity is Our Sustainability

In the physical world, “sustainability” generally refers to the use of resources in such a way that does neither permanent harm to the environment, nor depletes its natural resources. It is a state of ecological balance in which society’s impact on the world does not exceed the ability of nature to regenerate itself. While weContinue reading “Your Generosity is Our Sustainability”

We’re More Than Consumers

The wonderful thing about this time of year is whether you celebrate Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa or Festivus, there is a spirit that ties all of these holidays together. Fundamentally, this time of year is about giving. Unfortunately, Madison Avenue advertising firms have convinced us that during the holidays “shopping” is a synonym for “giving.” IfContinue reading “We’re More Than Consumers”

Thanksgiving and American Exceptionalism

Nearly 400 years ago, over 100 passengers boarded the ship Mayflower and set sail for the “New World.” Their destination was the mouth of the Hudson River, but two months of sailing over perilous seas blew them farther north than anticipated. The Mayflower ultimately dropped anchor in December near Cape Cod, Massachusetts. Unprepared for theContinue reading “Thanksgiving and American Exceptionalism”

Black Friday on Thanksgiving Isn’t the Real Problem

For nearly 20 years, my lovely wife Cari and I had a special Black Friday tradition. In the wee hours after Thanksgiving, she would get up at 2 am to stand in line outside a series of retail stores so she could grab the greatest bargains of the season. In the early days of thisContinue reading “Black Friday on Thanksgiving Isn’t the Real Problem”

Philanthropy Supporting Business

There’s a fascinating shift going on in modern philanthropy. Many of our nation’s most ingenious philanthropic institutions are broadening their focus. Rather than limiting themselves to awarding grants to nonprofit organizations, foundations are increasingly recognizing that the entrepreneurial spirit is an invaluable tool to achieve their goals for the community. As a result, these charitableContinue reading “Philanthropy Supporting Business”

A Non-Profit Horror Story for Halloween

Imagine making a contribution of $25,000 to your favorite charity only to have the Internal Revenue Service disallow your tax deduction. This nonprofit horror story may sound absurd, but if you’re not careful, it could happen to you. It starts with a nonprofit that you’ve been giving to for many years and know very well.Continue reading “A Non-Profit Horror Story for Halloween”

Thank Goodness for Bargain Sales

Recently the Volunteer Center of Door County hosted its annual Golden Heart Awards to recognize outstanding volunteers in our community. Holly Feldman, one of the handful of folks who have attended all 12 of these annual galas, calls it the “feel good event of Door County.” Indeed, it’s easy to see why people are soContinue reading “Thank Goodness for Bargain Sales”