Friday, January 29, 2010

Wisdom From The Mirdrash

From the teaching of Rabbi Adin Steinsaltz via Rabbi Arthur Kurzweil (

Some people live in their own narrow world and are stingy to themselves.

But they do so not out of miserliness, for there are people who can realize that other people are in need but fail to see that they themselves are no less in need.

There is a story in the Midrash Rabbah about some scholars who came to a city to raise money for charity.

They sent one of their number to observe the household of a certain illustrious citizen in order to ascertain how much to ask of him.

The scholar came to the house and by chance over­heard the rich man scolding his wife, insisting that she buy a cheaper brand of lentils for their table.

The scholars therefore did not even bother to approach him for money but collected their charity from others.

They explained the reason, and he answered, 'Concerning that which belongs to me, I chose to be stingy, but about that which belongs to God I prefer to be generous.'"

So, as you can see, the following is so deeply true ...

No Matter What,

Don't Forget to Ask for the Money!

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Holy Beggar’s Epiphany: I’m Really a Giver!

Hold on to your begging hats and bowls. My begging days may be over. While looking for that illusive next career move from Holy Beggar to HOLY BEGGAR, I understood the basic flaw in my premise ... I’m really much better a giver than a receiver.

In this world there’s giving and receiving, the host and guest, a thank you and you’re welcome, the latter being almost an endangered species. How many people do you know who say “You’re welcome” vs. “thank you”? I bet more the latter than the former.

Well, with a deep bow to retro-ness, I’m going to focus on the giving side of the philanthropy “equation” and make it simple, personal and, hopefully, impacting.

You heard it here first, dear reader.

Your Holy Beggar is going to undergo a transformation. Not because it is better to give than receive, although there’s a nice balancing ring to it, rather because it is possible to give. It may make me smile. It will help others.

More later.

In the meantime,
No Matter What,
Don’t Forget to Ask for the Money!

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Chronicle of Philanthropy Features "Holy Beggar" Persona Jan 14, 2010

Can a blog's feelings be hurt?

You betcha!

The Holy Beggar’s letter to the editor of The Chronicle of Philanthropy, the “Bible” of the philanthropic sector, garnered some attention to we professionals who have been laid-off from nonprofit organizations in the midst of successful careers serving others due to the economic turbulence.

Since November I was in deep conversation with a smart, compassionate, insightful staff journalist and the article came out January 14, 2010, page 15 etc. By all accounts, my colleagues who are still (and recently pink-slipped) employed, it was a good piece.

I agree, but there are a number of concerns (of course) that could have turned a reasonable article -- about the issue of the difficulties of finding employment not to mention keeping it during the recession -- into something provocative, dare I say strong enough to give us hope and wake up those higher-ups who still are employed.

One concern was that editorial policy mandated describing the for-profit "sector" as “business” ... as if multi-million dollar non-profits were a ... what ... hobby? I thought TCP was a trade publication, not one for weekend-warriors.

Further, the reporter was reminded many times by your Holy Beggar of this blog. The HB had commented frequently in TCP's online site. Yet the editor failed to allow the Holy Beggar, or this blog, to be mentioned by name! Just her creator's name (and likeness ... see P.S., below)

Are they afraid to “promote” something so benign as a simple, free blog, one that has fueled the article to begin with? How even more wonderful would it have been to invite the Holy Beggar to blog within the Chronicle itself.

Well, I'm sure that Mae West had a better way to say it but, "There's no such thing as bad publicity."

To all of you out there in non-business land, who feel a bit better that someone has honored your achievements and sympathizes with your plight, you're welcome, indeed.


No matter what,

Don’t forget to ask for the money!

P.S. Seems it’s better to have a doggy (or kitty, or perhaps even your human child or the disadvantaged folks you help?) in your professional photo. You will get on the front page.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

A Holy Beggar Koan

What's wrong with giving up?

No matter what,
Don't forget to ask for the money.