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Thanks due to charity workers

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By Todd Cohen

The philanthropy industry pays a lot of attention to the need to pay attention to donors.

Donors are critical investors in charitable enterprise, and securing their continuing support requires finding creative ways to thank them and involve them in an organization’s work.

But donors are not the only party that needs tending.

Peter Drucker, the management thinker who died Nov. 11, believed in human capital.

Managers, he said, should trust, respect and involve their workers.

Boards and managers should set goals, he said, and then spur their workers to tap their own expertise and creativity to find ways to meet those goals.

Drucker also recognized the value that charities add to society and the economy, and the lessons charities and businesses can learn from one another.

In this season of thanks, donors should be thanking charities for the critical work they do, and charity boards and CEOs should be thanking their employees.

And as they set goals, boards and CEOS should be looking for ways to give their employees greater say in how they plan to meet those goals.

Charity can transform society.

First, it must transform itself, and it can start by paying more attention to its workforce.


Todd Cohen is the Editor and Publisher of the Philanthropy Journal.

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