jaded obama

Do you advocate for people to give to causes, but never give to causes yourself?

Why is that?

What’s the reason? I used to say it was because I worked for so little money, that I was giving to charity every day just through coming to work.

Why don’t YOU give?

Is it because you know how easy it is to make a nonprofit APPEAR to be doing something? Is it possible that you subscribe to this statement by Santayana?

“Advertising is the modern substitute for argument; its function is to make the worse appear the better.”

Do you advertise for your nonprofit, but know the truth, that your nonprofit is not really connected to the community, not really helping?

Where you see room to connect, room for improvement, do you speak up? Why not?

Have people ever tried to get you to make a “nonprofit tagline” even though what your nonprofit does is complex and cannot be reduced to some facile, fatuous sentence like “Just Do It”?

“The hunger for facile wisdom is the root of all false philosophy.-George Santayana

You’re writing a grant, and the foundation wants to know, why is this going to work? And you have to have an answer. Do you make something up?

“It is possible to be a master in false philosophy, easier, in fact, than to be a master in the truth, because a false philosophy can be made as simple and consistent as one pleases.-George Santayana

Have you ever had to create a false philosophy around why a foundation should give you grant money?

Have you ever been kicked out of a nonprofit just as you raised them a lot of money? And has this event galvanized you to some great action?

Periods of tranquillity are seldom prolific of creative achievement. Mankind has to be stirred up. -George Santayana

What stirs you up? Is it misogyny? Racism? Mistreatment of women? The rape of our environment? Animal cruelty? Child abuse? Corporate tyranny? What gets you MAD?

What makes me mad is nonprofit fundraisers getting taken for granted. But let’s face it. Nonprofit fundraisers are taken for granted the world over. Does this make you angry? What are you going to do about it?

Where you’re struggling, where you’re looking for approval, how can you give that approval to yourself?


“Wisdom comes by disillusionment.” -George Santayana


“Cynicism is an unpleasant way of saying the truth.” -Lillian Hellman

You know how hard it is to keep your integrity when you work advertising, marketing, doing graphic design, and/or writing grants for nonprofits. How are you going to keep your integrity with your current nonprofit?

Is there something you need to say to leadership?
Is there some improvement you’d like to make to services?
Is there some way to improve the philosophy behind your grants? Even if it’s complex, what is it? What could you do to make your programs better, and more worthy of grants?

If you’re cynical, what’s a way to rediscover your joy in this cause?
Is it moving to a new nonprofit, one that you admire?
Is it starting your own nonprofit? Or getting out of the field but giving if you have extra money?
What makes you feel ALIVE?

This is a process. First you’re excited, then work hard, then you’re disillusioned and want to try something else. So what do you want to try now?

Congratulations. You have achieved Wise Wild Woman status. Go out and get excited about something again.

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