Recovering the heart of philanthropy

Mark PetersenBook Reviews

A lot has changed during my 21+ year philanthropy career. In the beginning I was wowed by the alluring potential that seemed to exist to “change the world” (a phrase I’ve come to disdain). This belief seemed to be based on the idea that society could engineer the end to poverty and other human ills. Big, upstream solutions (involving money … Read More

Deluded altruism

Mark PetersenBook Reviews, Strategy

The title caught my eye, and I immediately clicked “Add To Cart” and bought Delusional Altruism. In two words, Kris Putnam-Walkerly sums up one of my niggling worries about the grants that I’m involved with. Giving makes us feel good, but we’re deluded. There’s a sincere desire to respond to the needs of society, vast sums of money are granted, … Read More

Adaptive leadership during a pandemic

Mark PetersenBook Reviews, COVID-19, Innovation, Leadership, Strategy

Let’s begin with some background music to set the stage for this blog post. Start the music in the video below, and continue reading… You’re now listening to a familiar tune called ‘Take Five’.[1] Catchy, isn’t it? If you’re not a musician, you might have a hard time putting your finger on what makes this song so alluring. Music historian … Read More

9 steps to greatness in giving

Mark PetersenBook Reviews

Nick Cooney’s 2015 provocative book, How to Be Great at Doing Good: Why Results Are What Count and How Smart Charity Can Change the World, helps donors consider that giving well is laden with both responsibility and opportunity. It’s easy to fall into a rut where we routinely give to the same organizations year after year, and fail to use our … Read More

Revolution in next gen philanthropy

Nate PetersenBook Reviews

Canada’s next generation of major donors is dramatically different from their parents and grandparents. Imagining philanthropists as wealthy business tycoons in smoking jackets and pearls is an increasingly outdated stereotype. Instead, they are a highly relational group of individuals who are culturally geared towards innovation, entrepreneurship, and social change. The zeitgeist of the 21st century has destabilized social systems like … Read More