24 Nov

Play with Your Philanthropy

My husband proudly shared with our family over dinner the other night that his team for the food collection drive at the office had executed a secret strategy he believed would give them the winning advantage over the other three teams. Their strategy was to wait and let all the other teams work all week and then the day before the contest was coming to a close, his team would put in however much money they needed to buy enough food to beat out the other teams. The donors were told to come in with the necessary cash, and the team captains who volunteered to shop and schlep the food were asked to come prepared with reinforcement trucks (you have bring the actual food to the office and the winner is decided by weight).

Minutes ago I receive a victorious email from my husband complete with color graphs depicting the teams and the total weights (broken down by dates etc.) His team, Wishbone, was indeed declared the winner, collecting a total of 2,437.91 pounds of food with the next team coming in at 2,057.67 pounds. In addition to being pleased to contribute to such a worthy cause at holiday time and to work with such generous and kind people, make no mistake about it, my husband is happy to have won!  He and his fellow engineers are proud that their strategy was effective – although thoughts already have turned to next year and the need for a new play. They had fun and nearly doubled the per-person contribution from last year.

The food drive has provided entertainment, team bonding and good will for over 10 days at work. Taken together with the ALS ice bucket challenge of the spring and summer, I was reminded that giving is the epitome of good clean fun. Don’t be ashamed to use doing good as a way to do well for your business by building teams or giving people the chance to have their 30 seconds of fame of Facebook. It’s okay, play with your philanthropy!

To your success,


P.S. My new book, On Board: What Current and Aspiring Board Members Must Know About Nonprofits & Board Service, is now available on Amazon




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