Friday Inspirations, Episode 6 :)

annual letter 2018 bill gates gatesnotes hall center for the humanities linkedin melinda gates peter balakian philanthropy the nelson-atkins museum of art through the eyes of picasso university of kansas Feb 23, 2018

Happy Friday, Generous Changer!! 

Finding inspiration absolutely everywhere this week. Lots and lots of it! (Read to the end for links to cool tools!)

Quote we're loving: 

"Be yourself. Everyone else is already taken."  - Oscar Wilde

We're reading: Bill and Melinda Gates' Annual Letter 2018. (There's a teaser version on LinkedIn, where I first saw it.) I am pretty fan-girly about these two - they take their philanthropy very seriously. But my favorite part of this letter is the personal bit at the end: 

"Maybe 20 years ago, we could have made a different choice about what to do with our wealth. But now it’s impossible to imagine. If we’d decided to live a different life then, we wouldn’t be us now. This is who we chose to be."

A great reminder that giving means a lot to generous people - it can be deeply defining. Which makes our role as connectors to causes honorable, enviable, lucky.

We're viewing: the Picasso show at the Nelson-Atkins Museum in Kansas City. Maybe you knew that cubism was inspired by African and Asian masks? I didn't. But having seen them, it's so obvious and super cool. Perhaps most delightful to me? Picasso's "accidental" art: those metal things on champagne corks, twisted into dancing figures; a random piece of cardboard, cut out and drawn upon to make a reclining figure. The man could not help creating - it was almost compulsive! Amazing.

We're listening to: Peter Balakian read his gorgeously written memoir, Black Dog of Fate, on Audible. Balakian speaks today at the Hall Center for the Humanities and I was lucky enough to have dinner with him last night. It was a great reminder: I raised money for KU for a long time - and I didn't always take enough advantage of abundant opportunities to be inspired by my cause. Having stories of your own personal inspiration to share is everything. 

And since you hung in there and kept reading...we're digging a very cool fundraising-tools video from LinkedIn. If you've ever asked your board to help you with connections - and encountered blank looks - LinkedIn reminds us that few of us really remember who we know offhand. Their solution:

  • Connect with your board members on LinkedIn
  • Click on their profile and, in the upper right, click on "See Connections"
  • Review their connections
  • Bring a list of those you'd like to meet to the next board meeting and ask for an introduction
    • Note that personal intro's are 80% likely to get a response!

Genius!! Why have we never thought of this? You can do the same, of course, with favorite donors - who are likely connected to lots of folks you'd like to meet.

Check out LinkedIn's webinar for more.

And now...go on out there and have an inspired weekend. We heart you!

- nancy