If Philanthropy Is All About Relationships, Then Why Do Metrics Only Measure Money?
Thomas H. Lake Lecture
When our focus is primarily on money in seeking philanthropy, we chase money rather than meaning in our profession. This focus on the product (money) lessens the importance of purpose in our work, and not only raises less philanthropy, it devalues the noble role that philanthropy can play in a well-examined life. Our work in philanthropy must make the material to spiritual shift. A focus on the impact and difference philanthropy can have on lives, communities, and indeed the planet must be the raison d’etre of our profession. This will necessitate an entirely new form of metrics in philanthropy. Not the quantitative metrics of money, but the qualitative metrics of ever deepening relationships with benefactors and their perceptions of themselves at their best. This idealized, new and engaged philanthropy will be the result of nonprofit organizations and philanthropists co-creating mutual desirable futures.
Jim Hodge is Associate Vice Chancellor, University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus
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