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The need for philanthropic peer counsel and mastermind groups

A couple of weeks ago I received a phone call from a Generous Giving consultant. I was invited to join a group of 11 men who were going to visit the founder of a $2 billion company to talk about his and our philosophies and practices of giving . . . and of transferring our material wealth, our values, and our philanthropic perspectives to future generations.

As it turned out, we were to meet not only with the founder (a man in his late 60s), but with his sons, and one of his grandsons. The meeting occurred about a week and a half ago over the course of an afternoon and evening and the next morning.

As I’ve tried to work through the implications of what transpired, and as I’ve attempted to explain to others what occurred, I have realized I carried at least two lessons from the experience. This post is about the first–a lesson I’ve learned before, but never applied in quite this way to my charitable giving interests.

The lesson: That we benefit from participating in peer-level mastermind groups–groups of like-minded individuals who are willing to share their insights, experiences, knowledge, etc., in order to help each other attain a definite goal or purpose. In this case, then, to help each other improve our ability to make effective and generous charitable donations.

I was talking with my sister the other day and I mentioned how valuable this particular meeting had been for me “because I was meeting with fairly wealthy people who are already giving at a high level.”

“Why would that make a difference?” she asked.

“Because they are dealing with the kinds of issues Sarita and I are dealing with as we consider our giving,” I said.

“Like what?” she asked.

What follows is more or less what I discussed with her. Read the rest of this entry »

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