THE 5 Ps Of Effective Philanthropy

Effective fundraising made easy by the Association of Fundraising Professionals and Make It Better:

Fundraise Like The Pros In Honor of National Philanthropy Day

Etymologically, “philanthropy” means love of humankind.

According to Merriam Webster Dictionary, philanthropy means “the practice of giving time and money to help make life better for other people.”

However you define philanthropy or choose to practice it in your life, you can celebrate it this Saturday, Nov. 15 on National Philanthropy Day. This day is sponsored by the Association of Fundraising Professionals (AFP), which generates philanthropic support for a wide variety of charitable institutions.Philanthropy

The holiday is meant to recognize the great changes that philanthropy has brought to the world and to encourage people to work to better the lives of others. President Ronald Reagan officially proclaimed Nov. 15 as National Philanthropy Day in 1986.

Tips for Wise Giving (and How Make It Better Can Help):

According to the AFP, there are five Ps to wise giving: Passionate, Proactive, Prepare, Plan and Powerful.

Here is how Make It Better applies these five P’s to our philanthropic efforts. We would be honored to help your favorite nonprofit this way, too.

Power of PhilanthropyPassionate: At Make It Better, we support organizations run by people who are truly PASSIONATE about the work they do—whether they work to improve education, fight for social justice or save the environment. We believe the attitude behind an organization fuels its long-term success.

Proactive: Make It Better PROACTIVELY seeks organizations to partner with across the North Shore and the Greater Chicago Area that are working to grow their support network and spread their mission. We are always open to hearing from new nonprofits. You can connect with us through our website at or email our Philanthropy Editor, Maura Flaherty, at

Prepare: Once Make It Better decides to partner with your organization, we will PREPARE a contract called a media sponsorship agreement. This agreement allows us to learn as much information as we can about your organization’s history, mission and fundraising events and details your role as our partner.Prepare

Plan: Make It Better prefers to partner with an organization several months prior to important events or fundraisers so that we can PLAN the most effective editorial coverage around them.

Powerful: By planning which editorial coverage to use with your organization, such as placement on our Online Calendar of Events, Better Letter Sponsored Listing or in the Give Time, Things Support section of our magazine, Make It Better allows your organization to receive maximum impact and POWERFUL support from our readers and followers.

Youth Organizations Umbrella!

Congratulations to Seth Green and Youth Organizations Umbrella for winning Best Human Services – Family, Youth and Child.

I just visited YOU and met Seth last week (post: This Princeton, Yale, McKinsey-trained young man’s passion and vision has already made a great difference for YOU in his 18 tenure.

It’s exciting to imagine where YOU will be 10 years from now!

The End Of An Era – On The Big Blue Couch Of Course

Cece Sherman, Kendall Schaffner and Emma Noyes (in Canadian fur hat) perched above and behind their buddies before their last Homecoming dance.

The best of life is family life.

We’ve been sending our kids to their high school dances for 15 years. Tonight was the last New Trier Homecoming Dance for our youngest child – Emma.

Once again, with pleasure, and for the last time, we hosted the preparty photos at our home.

The best of family life in our home often happens on the big blue couch in our kitchen. So how appropriate that the final picture of the final homecoming happened on that beloved spot.

Great Spirit and the Hoop Dance

I attended a Pow Wow in the Wikwemekong Reservation on Manitoulin Island, Ontario, Canada with family this weekend. 
This was my favorite performer.  Her Hoop Dance is worthy of Cirque Du Soleil.  But what I love best are all the values embedded in this activity.  Her costume is hand-made with great love by herself or someone who loves her very much.She dances with pride in her heritage and passion for the dance itself.


The Pow Wow brings families together for a marvelous celebration of their community.
“Manitou” means Great Spirit in the Ojibway language.  The location–Manitoulin Island–is considered one of the most sacred places for the First Nation on the North American continent.


I wish for my family, my friends and myself that we all live with great spirit, dressed in love, surrounded by family and community, and dancing with passion and joy as often as possible too.

Always Dream and Shoot Higher Than You Know To Do

“Always dream and shoot higher than you know you can do. Don’t bother just to be better than your contemporaries or predecessors. Try to be better than yourself.” – William Faulkner

What could be better than my current life? That’s a question which probably is asked more by women than men or children.

We intuitively use ourselves to help our families and others first. So much so that we often need to check in and make sure that we are making ourselves better too.

It is as important that we dream big and go for it as it is that our children do so.

Oh the Unexpected Places Our Children Take Us!

Oh, the unexpected places our children take us in life!

Our son James is nicknamed “Logic Man” in our family because he always makes well-thought-out choices. He was born with a more mature perspective than some adults ever achieve.

So we were amazed when he called to say he was getting married in Tokyo about 10 days later.

This is the Japanese version of a Justice Of The Peace marriage. Two more traditional wedding ceremonies will follow next year – one in back yard and one in Japan. Wow, will they be well-married after all this celebrating!

I love it.



Our new inlaws, Shinji and Kaoru Torisawa.

Angelina Jolie – Consummate Make It Better Woman

Brad Pitt says, “Angie works on something outside our own home, our own world, our own orbit, every day. Every day she’s working on something, dealing with some effort to give some people a hand.” (USA Weekend, June 21-23)

Jolie is a consummate Make It Better woman.  It’s in her DNA, nature, heart to pay it forward to others, just as it is for most happy, affluent mothers.    Do you know of other Make It Better women for me to feature?