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September 26, 2007


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Tidy Sum

Philanthropy is one of the most ritualized fields of the nonprofit sector. Our practices, tools, gutteral gestures and butt-wagging are the symbols of power, dominance, exchange, etc. that define us and help us create our narratives of change.

Every month, for example, I watch a parade of financial advisors and their audiences of trustees partake in a ritual that could only be described as financial theatre.

In turn, I play my part as a philanthro-shaman and paint my clever tale of excellence, effectiveness, and impact.

My cunning insights from readings of the nonprofit tea-leaves, placental drippings, weather, and other auspicious signs from the cosmos are unmatched in my tri-state area.

And yes, the most auspicious sign for me beyond the quaking earth, an eclipse, or hoot of an owl is the symbol of evaluation.

Because it is from that which we derive all of our power and our glory.

Albert Ruesga

Beautifully put. Prisoners in wealth bondage, chained inside Plato's cave, watching the play of the philanthro-shaman's shadow puppets on the wall, mistaking appearance for reality. The shaman is able to induce a trance that doesn't involve possession by any spirit.

Antoine Möeller

What a nice exchange. Cheers.


In the financial services business, we underlings call it, "dummying up the forms."

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