Tracy Salkowitz and Andres Spokoiny

Tracy Salkowitz and Andres Spokoiny

During his visit to Tucson last month, Andres Spokoiny, President & CEO of the Jewish Funders Network, met with leaders and funders of JCF. Andres is an extraordinary visionary and was able to clearly articulate what it is to be an engaged funder. He used the difference between a curricula vitae and an obituary as an example; one is a list of professional accomplishments while the other is the difference you made in the lives of others.

Here’s a few things he says are working:

The rise of independent philanthropy. Andres describes this as positive because grants can be riskier. When independent philanthropists take a risk, and then work together with communal organizations such as federations and foundations, innovative programs such as PJ Library and Birthright are created and expanded.

Networking and pooling resources. Problems are big, intractable and too much for one organization. “We need different approaches to the same challenges. There are no silver bullets in today’s world.”

Involving our younger generation in the adventure of philanthropy. “Don’t keep them at the kid’s table and don’t try to force them into old ways of doing things. Help them discover the joys of doing good in the world.”