Untangling Judgement

When someone, particularly a politician, does something wrong, why is it that we sometimes judge their actions harshly, and sometimes leniently?  It seems to me that passing judgement implicitly involves considering questions like “is the action legal?”, “is the action socially acceptable?” and “is the action fair and morally justifiable?”  And then we overlay an…

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How to be a transparent funder

We’re pretty lucky, us funders.  We don’t usually pay tax. We can’t easily go broke.  We rarely receive public criticism.  And, unlike the US, where private foundations are required to give away at least 5% of their investment assets per year, funders in Aotearoa NZ are subject to few legislative requirements. In other words, we…

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If Philanthropy could be…

If philanthropy could be as innovative and impactful as possible, what might our world look like?* Three inspiring speakers at the recent Philanthropy New Zealand biennial conference, Children’s Commissioner Andrew Becroft, Judge Carolyn Henwood and Rangimarie Naida Glavish, presented a clear and inspiring picture of a land without child poverty, without child abuse, and where…

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Being the best we can be

On International Women’s  Day I spoke on a panel with Dame Susan Devoy and Melissa Clark-Reynolds on the topic “being the best we can be” at a function hosted by Kapiti Chamber of Commerce and Kapiti Rotary .  Here is my speech: Ki ngā maunga, ngā awa, me ngā tāngata whenua hoki o te rohe…

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Perspectives on what makes a good funder

Here are four different perspectives on the characteristics of a good funder: The criteria for “Philanthropy at its best” proposed by the US-based National Committee for Responsive Philanthropy are particularly useful in my opinion; see the one page version or the full paper.  They propose a manageable number of holistic but measurable criteria, eg “Invests…

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