Philanthroinsight with the Walrus and Sonnet LAbbe

philanthro This post is for those in the club. Not VIP`s, the opposite, the servants of good. The people who live inside the moving parts of fundraising, philanthropy, charity, non-profit, social-profit – the people that are open to discussion beyond golf, moustaches, ice-buckets and chocolate almonds. Who are tired of hearing about the usual conversations on this topic. Donors, fundraisers, volunteers, boards, lawyers, accountants all the people who make it happen and see inside the sausage factory that is often expressed as neat, clean, feel-good, dimple-faced philanthropy. As usual the folks at the Walrus Magazine and Foundation take their talks further, behind the curtain on a subject. This fall they chose philanthropy. walrusspeakersWhat a unique line up of speakers that assembled the body parts of giving ( the heart), funding ( the legs), doing (the hands), investing (the head) and marketing (the mouth). Read more in this review of the evening – this is a reflection on one talk. She’s a poet, a writer, a thinker but she’s also a spy into this profession and way of life. I met Sonnet L’Abbe now a decade ago working in a university advancement office as a writer. She has worked for causes in healthcare, community, in civic engagement using her command of head, heart and all that lies between as an asset to fundraising teams – this makes her an insider. It`s a dangerous magic but as a poet she gets to say things that none of us, not the donors, the fundraisers, the institutions can say. sonnet2 And she did. Watch it by clicking here. I personally made sure a few dozen in my network were in attendance and after the performance they all said ‘how does she know our hopes, fears, dreams, anger, even our words!?”. She reached into us, and showed us our own guts. It can be uncomfortable for some, I loved it. Every word. So as 2014 comes to a close and we all reflect on what we do, what we’ve done, where we are going. What better medium to help in that reflection than poetry? What happens when the heart and head heartthinkstart working together in the world of philanthropy? Powerful things, I`ve seen it. Thanks to the Walrus team, this is why I subscribe and give to you. Because you create conversations like this. And to Sonnet, I have said it before, I’ll say it again, besides what Gord and his Tragic friends think, I think poets are a gift to humanity. Certainly a gift in my life. sonnet And I’m grateful just to know her. If you haven’t already, click here to watch that insightful poetry on philanthropy – would love your thoughts in the comment section below! Thanks for reading, Paul

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