I really enjoyed the speaker series because each speaker had a different view and experience with philanthropy, and it made me realize that there are so many unique paths to take when doing philanthropy. I learned a lot about how to ask for money and raise money which I am confident will be a useful skill to have in the future.
I found the Speaker Series super interesting! One thing I found super cool was how different each of our speakers were and the different ways they worked with philanthropy in their own jobs. From fundraising for schools to diverting money for other people, there is no one way for an institution to practice philanthropy.
I think it would be really valuable to hear from someone who is personally very rich and possesses the ability to be philanthropic with their own wealth on a large scale. I would want to know what they think about Adand's writing and how they approach giving in their own lives.
I learned a lot from our speakers and I thought it was really interesting to learn about what philanthropy looks like in different organizations. For example, hearing from Anne Marie about the Emerson Collective was interesting because it functions differently than other foundations I have heard of. Because of my dad's job, I know a fair amount about the philanthropic sector and what it looks like in the Bay Area, but most of the foundations I knew about were smaller family foundations, which operate super differently than the Emerson Collective. I also learned from my dad's presentation; I didn't know about the tax incentives that he talked about and it was interesting to learn that that is often a really huge factor when people make decisions about giving. What most surprised me about his presentation was the part about family foundations giving their required 5% to their own DAFs, because I didn't know that was allowed. Finally, it was really cool to hear from Brian about what philanthropy looks like at Lick and how different people play roles in philanthropic giving at Lick.
It would be cool to hear from some non-profit community organizations in the future because I feel like we have learned a lot about the 'giving end' of philanthropy but not as much about the 'receiving end'.
My biggest takeaways from these speaker series are the pieces of advice they give to us as young philanthropists. Though philanthropy has always felt like a politically construed, old, white guy activity, it now feels more accessible. Something I think I've learned and am curious about are the tax-breaks that come with donating a percentage of your income. It is interesting to see the political side of things and how the wealthy are able to control a lot of where their money goes. I've also seen consistency in giving be a big theme that all these speakers talk about. That is something I will try to get in mind as an adult when I chose to give.
It would be interesting to hear from more small, local, non-profits now that we've seen a lot of big-scale philanthropy.
The speaker series deepened my understanding of philanthropy. I learned learned different effective methods to ask for money from Brian Driscoll and I was informed about the ways in which some wealthy people set up charitable foundations in order to get tax reductions from Charlie Casey. I'd like to hear from organizations like Glide SF and Muttville.
I thought the speaker series as a whole was very interesting. I especially enjoyed what Brian had to say because it was something that related to the inner workings of the school. It was very interesting getting his backstory and how he is able to raise more and more money.
I also thought the third speaker series about the Pacific Foundation Services was interesting because I was able to get more of an understanding on why people give, who gives the most, and different foundations. It was not so much centered around 1 organization and what they do, but about philanthropy as a whole and as a concept.
I think it would be interesting to hear from someone who is not part of a fundraising organization or philanthropic foundation, but someone who practices philanthropy in their spare time. I would be interested to know why they give, who they give to, how they choose because it is more of a personal decision than a company or group decision.
I learned a lot from the philanthropy speaker series. One of the biggest takeaways for me was that the biggest reason people give money is because they are asked to. Both Brian and Charlie talked about the effectiveness of simply asking for money, and I never would have thought that asking would work so well. Another big takeaway for me was how big philanthropy can sometimes end up not doing any good. Some donor advised funds, where money is just sitting in a bank account and not being used, don't do anything good. We also learned about philanthropists who donate big money to their political interests, who have more power than voters. I knew that money often overrides our system of democracy, but I had never thought about that money as "philanthropic." I don't know of any other speakers in particular, but I think we could learn a lot from the Homeless Prenatal Program. They hire almost exclusively from women who at some point used their services and rely heavily on government funding and donations.
Through the Philanthropy Speaker Series, I learned about the different kinds of organizations that are associated with philanthropy. Even though each speaker's role within their respective organization varied, and the problems they addressed were different, they still played an important part in giving and helping communities of people. I thought that the Pacific Foundation Services was interesting because of its role in advising people who want to give. Prior to the speaker coming and talking about the Pacific Foundation, we had learned and discussed about how there are a lot of people, especially wealthy people, who give money in ways that do not fully benefit the cause they are donating to. This service can help the wealthy communities ensure that their money is being used for an overall large benefit, helping a greater number of people.
It was really interesting to learn about how people who work in philanthropy figure out the best places to allocate resources and money. A common theme throughout all three speakers was that it was extremely important to make sure that the money being spent by those giving grants or those leading private foundations was spent in ways that that the grant-makers supported. They all stressed how vital it is to put money, or time or energy into an issue that you are passionate about and actually care about succeeding. And, once you start putting effort into to solving/helping end a problem that you should stick with it. It was important to make sure that you are sustainably giving. Something else I found interesting was that some of the speakers didn't pretend that giving was simply an act of kindness and not anything else. We were able to hear about tax cuts and how giving can in someways also be a selfish act. I thought it was cool to hear from both sides!
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