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  • Black Friday on Thanksgiving Isn’t the Real Problem

    For nearly 20 years, my lovely wife Cari and I had a special Black Friday tradition. In the wee hours after Thanksgiving, she would get up at 2…

  • The Price of Staying Warm

    In the midst of one of the coldest winters in a generation, We Are Hope, Inc. is proving to be one of the most important charities in Door…

  • Curing Donor Fatigue: The Search for Fulfillment

    Giving, at its highest levels, is gratifying for the donor. I have seen it for myself countless times during my two decades working in philanthropy. The words “joy”…

  • Charitable Giving Through Your Estate

    The United States of America has a tradition of philanthropy that is the envy of the rest of the world. In 2007, a record $307 billion was…

  • Choosing Door County

    At some point or another, almost all of us in Door County had to make a conscious decision to call this place home. There’s the retiree who spent…

  • Which is More Valuable: In-Kind or Cash Gifts?

    A colleague recently asked which was more valuable to a charity – when someone makes an in-kind gift or when they write check? The most common “in-kind” gift…

  • The Storm’s Hidden Damage

    On the Monday following the Sept. 29 wind storm I had breakfast at the Summertime Restaurant in Fish Creek. General Manager Brian Hackbarth came by the table to…

  • A Gift to the Future

    An endowment is perhaps the most misunderstood, yet critically important component of the financial health and future of a charity. The confusion begins in that an endowment calls…

  • The Best New Year’s Resolutions

    Quit smoking. Lose weight. Enjoy life. Help others. These are four of the most common New Year’s resolutions, according to most everyone who surveys such things. Chances are…

  • Religion and Giving in Wisconsin

    Door County is the most generous community in one of the least generous states in America. In several columns over the last few months, I’ve discussed what drives…

  • The Worst Charities in America

    The Tampa Bay Times and the Center for Investigative Reporting recently published a list of “America’s 50 Worst Charities.” Collectively these 50 organizations raised $1.3 billion during the…

  • Thank Goodness for Bargain Sales

    Recently the Volunteer Center of Door County hosted its annual Golden Heart Awards to recognize outstanding volunteers in our community. Holly Feldman, one of the handful of folks…

  • An Open Letter to Our Visiting Friends

    Dear friends, We cannot tell you how pleased we are that you decided to visit us in Door County. Whether you’re here for a few days, or come…

  • Wisconsin’s Most Generous County

    Most surveys about charitable giving are notoriously inaccurate because of what the researchers call Social Desirability Bias. Giving to a charity is almost universally proclaimed as a pure…

  • Goals for Our Children

    Nearly 20 years ago, my wife and I sat down and wrote out what we still consider today the most important goals in our life together. These aspirations…

  • A Study of Charitable Giving in Wealthy Households

    Apparently the charities of our community are doing something right! Ninety-one percent of high net worth households have “some” or a “great deal” of confidence in the ability…

  • Saying Goodbye to our Community’s Pastor

    This Sunday will mark the final service of Pastor Michael Brecke at St. Paul’s Lutheran Church in Juddville. Michael recently announced he is accepting an interim position…