Friday, June 13, 2014

The Questions

We had an amazing meeting with some 70 Israeli philanthropists the other week in Jerusalem as part of the JDC Centennial Board meetings. I sat with an inspiring Jerusalem philanthropist, born in Germany, who supports tolerance and peace programs. I had a drink with a couple from Tel Aviv who donate significant funds to support after-school programs for kids-at-risk. And there were countless stories of philanthropic journeys and discoveries.

Don't let anyone tell you that there's no philanthropy in Israel. It's real, and it's impressive. It's growing.

One of the exercises we ran in small groups was to ask each other some basic questions about philanthropy. I thought the questions were so clever, and so focused, that I wrote them down.

They were  ....

What is the main focus of your philanthropy and how did you choose it?
What was your first giving moment?
What motivates you to be a philanthropist?
Who is your philanthropic role model?
What is your vision for the next generation of philanthropists?
What are the values that guide your giving?
What's the most meaningful philanthropic gift you've ever given?
What's your biggest challenge as a philanthropist?
Have you ever regretted a philanthropic gift?

If you get the chance - try doing this exercise with friends.
It's an amazing revelation, and really gives you an opportunity to hear people's deepest values and motivations. Plus it's a lot of fun.

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