Disneyland & Growth Capital

I’m way behind in blog posts. It has been a busy week. Let me explain.

Last week I went to Chicago to visit a client of mine who I helped start a private foundation. He’s one of the donors I’ve met over the last few years who is relatively new to organized philanthropy, but who is a model case study of “Second Great Wave” donors who are approaching philanthropy in new ways. He and the small staff of his foundation are a pleasure to work with. While traveling I got a chance to read three books (with two kids under five at home, the hours spent on planes, in airports and at hotels offer one of the rare chances I get to catch up on reading!). I finished Michael Edwards’ Just Another Emperor. I’ve been promising a review and will deliver one shortly. I read Grassroots Philanthropy, one of the very best philanthropy books I’ve ever read (more on this in the near future). And I read The Warren Buffett Way. That one’s not on every philanthropist’s reading list, but it probably should be (hint: great organizations are far more valuable than mediocre organizations. Not just incrementally more valuable, truly, vastly more valuable).

Then, on Thursday, my wife and I brought our children to Disneyland. Since this was my first visit (I was the only adult Californian to have never visited the World’s Happiest Place), I learned a lot. Such as 1) an organizational model built on some people paying for benefits that accrue to other people (such as donors paying for services or parents paying for products and services for their children) is clearly sustainable and 2) as Robin Williams once said “To a 3-year-old, Mickey Mouse is a 6-FOOT RAT!”. My son screamed bloody murder the first time one of the Disney characters approached us.

Then today I went to a “roadshow” event for VolunteerMatch. I’m sure that not everyone in the room really got their growth capital offering, but it was a pleasure to glimpse a peek of the future I’ve envisioned.

So, needless to say, I’m way behind on emails and various duties (I know, cry me a river, I’m sure all of you are in the same boat). So hopefully, I’ll be back to regular posting tomorrow. I’ve gotten a great response to the formation of my Council on Foundations Conference Blogging Team. I’ll tell you more about the team later this week. But if you’re on the fence about signing up, know that you’ll be in great company.