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Daily Nuggets: A For Impact Blog

Gifts that Keep the Lights On


Cole Wilbur is an amazing ‘voice’ in the For Impact world. He is a Trustee and former President at the David & Lucille Packard Foundation. I have met Cole through our new partner, Steve Elder, when Steve was VP for Advancement at Colorado College and Cole was on the Board of Trustees.

Mr. Wilbur has written a new book with Fred Setterberg called GIVING WITH CONFIDENCE.

There was a great Opinion piece excerpted from this book in the latest Chronicle of Philanthropy entitled The Most Crucial Gifts Are Often the Ones that Keep the Lights On. If you are in the For Impact world as an investor, trustee, leader… you need to read this.

Here’s a very short overview of why this is such a great article.

“Anybody who wants to make a difference by giving OPERATING MONEY (my caps) would be smart to seek out:

  • A Capable Executive
  • Depth of Leadership
  • An Engaged Board
  • The Active Pursuit of a Realistic Development Plan
  • Reliable Financial Management
  • A Compelling Reason for Existence
  • The Ability to Grow.”

WOW! These seven things work for just about any kind of philanthropic investment.

Mr. Wilbur closes with this:

“I’d much rather make a grant to a reliable stalwart in my community than fall into the trap of trendy giving dictated by whatever new theory, spokesman or intvestool has arrived on the scene.”

As always, well said.