I confess that I don’t like the word philanthropy. It accords too much power to the donor. Instead, I believe in partnerships where resources (including, but not confined to money) are shared and exchanged.
If people really want to give, they sometimes have to give up power too.
I run a social enterprise called Leaders’ Quest, committed to improving the quality of leaders worldwide – and of their impact on society. We take senior executives on transformational ‘Quests’, often to the other side of the world, in order to gain new perspectives on life and leadership. Before founding Leaders’ Quest, I was a conventional business leader myself – of a chain of car dealerships. I’ve also founded a number of start-ups… and learned as much from my near misses as from my successes.
The skills I bring to More
As with Leaders’ Quest, I’d like both More Partnership and its clients to move to a more creative place. I don’t want to overstate what I do for them. It’s just the occasional meeting and workshop, but I’m there to remind them that they have more interesting choices than they sometimes appreciate.
Other organisations I work with
Why I work with More
The name ‘More Partnership’ is fantastic, as it sums up what I believe in! More than that, I like the people, their humility, their passion and their values.
My philanthropic interests
Although I’ve said that I don’t like the term ‘philanthropy’, in practice a big part of our Leaders’ Quest Foundation is about people giving. My husband and I are the biggest donors and we also fundraise. But I prefer to see it in broader terms: asking people if they want to join us on the next stage of the journey, rather than ‘fundraising’.
My advice to fundraisers
Remember the ‘why’. Be courageous about your bigger mission and the fair distribution of the world’s resources. Don’t jump straight to the emotion and the storytelling. Fundraising organisations often underestimate the capacity of donors to see a bigger picture about reshaping the future. There’s no need to be timid and dumb that down. In fact, as a fundraiser, you are in a unique position to challenge without lecturing and preaching. Just be bold and ask the questions that need to be asked.