Tag Archives: relationships

The Importance of Relationships

The Power of a Relationship. 

Today, I’d like to talk about the importance of a full relationship. Often, we think about someone being in our life for one, single reason.  But that’s not actually true.

In fact, every conversation, every relationship affects dozens, even thousands, of other people.  That’s right, thousands.  


When we talk to someone, we affect them. We might ask them to do something.  That affects someone else, or even a group of people.   Even our tone can affect them: If you’re down, they might feel it. If you’re positive, you might lead them to a more peaceful state of mind.   How you affect them will affect how they treat the next person.  Every conversation is part of a chain for good, or stress, of joy or negativity.

You can make  every relationship,  lead to something greater.  I want to give an example of that today.

I’ve known Chris Towle for more than 10 years. He is a significant funder of ours. But he didn’t start out as a funder.


I like creating relationships that relate to the whole person.  This is because I want to have a long-term relationship with them, which is based on them and not just money. After years of watching us, Chris donated from his family foundation, and then in subsequent years, donated stock.  So I don’t usually start fundraising from people after two or three years; then they know I value them for who they are.  Sometimes, I don’t even have to ask; they just give.

The relationship now extends into positive marketing for UniversalGiving. Chris and his wife are involved in Principia, where they invited us to speak at a conference. So you can see we’re building a long-term relationship, attaining funding, getting his company involved to give funding, and also helping with marketing. This isn’t just about a funding request.

I encourage you to think about this. How can your build positive relationships that go further than one person?

Let’s take a look at companies.  If you’re trying to attain a new client, is it just about closing a new deal?  Absolutely not.

First, it’s great to have a positive client.  That’s wonderful.  You can add to that.  We have such a positive relationship with Cisco, that former Cisco employees join UniversalGiving as a Returnee . How wonderful to get team members from Cisco!


In addition, we can sell in our gift certificates to them: For the holidays or performance reviews, they provide gift certificates to their employees. Then, we both promote each other on social media; that’s marketing. So if you look at that, there’s a corporate contracts, returnees, gift certificates, and increasing donations on our site.  Pretty spectacular!  That’s certainly beyond one conversation, one relationship.


So as you move forward today, know that one conversation can lead to another.  This kind of mindset can build so much good for the future.   Are you stressed? It won’t draw more people to your cause.  Are you positive?  Then you can be grateful for the great partnership you have, and expand it.




Love, All Along the Way

Today I share with you a letter that I wrote to a young woman graduating from high school. A life of promise lies ahead.
But a life of promise lies ahead for you, too, whether you are 18, 48 or 88.
You can ‘graduate’ into a renewed sense of life.  Read on to see how you can impact the world today.


You might decide to donate today through UniversalGiving. You might decide to volunteer in Vietnam and help teach children English, build classrooms and playgrounds, or work towards building better homes for families. And you might also just be kind and loving to someone else.  All of it changes the world.  It’s time to graduate to a life filled with promise and joy.

Dear Brittany Joy,

A grand congratulations on your graduation! I am so proud of who you are as a person. You are a joyful, positive, and kind person. Your character is your most precious possession.

As you go into the world, may you take this treasure and share it with each individual you meet. That, in and of itself, is your greatest profession- to share love, each moment!

When I think of you, here are your gifts:

1.Principled Action:You take on action based on principle. With thoughtfulness and care, you bless the world with each task and endeavor.

2.Full Joy: That is your name and expression, and you shine it so radiantly. Brittany Joy Duke. It’s regal, loving, vibrant, and joy filled! Always spread the joy!

3.Love-all along the way: You might have a passion, or find the career of your dreams, or the man of your dreams! But, don’t forget to love all along the way. Thats the mailman, or grocery store clerk, your employee, parents, and the neighbor who might seem “tough”. Remember, all are lovable.

Congratulations dear Brittany Joy, on this momentous day. You are graduating, and graduating to live life with principle, joy, and love.

Onwards, onwards you go!

With greatest love, Auntie Pammie

A Solution to Any Relationship Problem: What Abraham Lincoln Did

The_Peacemakers_1868“You can have no conflict without being yourselves the aggressors…

Though passion may have strained it must not break our bonds of affection.”

— Abraham Lincoln

Enjoy a new audio version of this blog!


Continue reading

The Classic Pamela Positive: Philanthropy at the Drycleaners


Get inspired by an audio version of this blog!

I’ve shared before about philanthropy as “the love of people,” as a daily practice.

One day I had a pivotal experience that helped me be a better ‘daily philanthropist.’  Each day, I make a ‘to do’ list. The list might range from contacting a corporate client, to running an errand at the drycleaners. Checking off these items certainly gave me a nice sense of satisfaction! Continue reading

The Grass Is Greenest Where You Water It

rice-field-387715_640“The grass is greenest where you water it. Successful couples have learned to resist the grass is greener myth – i.e. someone else will make me happy. They have learned to put their energy into making themselves and their marriage better.”

-Mitch Temple

Get inspired by the latest AUDIO version of this blog!

Let’s be focused on how green we can make our grass!

Truly wouldn’t that be lovely?  If we all focused on what we have — the wonderful family or our friends who are like family; the job, or the opportunity to explore something new; the husband or the opportunity to date and find the right person – what a joy-filled world we would have!  And a joyful world starts with each one of our own little worlds. Continue reading

Why Certain People Are In Your Life

people come into your life post

These words have been inspiring to me, and I am glad to share them with you.

People come into your life for a reason, a season or a lifetime.  When you figure out which it is, you know exactly what to do.

When someone is in your life for a REASON, it is usually to meet a need you have expressed outwardly or inwardly.  They have come to assist you through a difficulty, to provide you with guidance and support, to aid you physically, emotionally or spiritually.  They may seem like a godsend, and they are.  They are there for the reason you need them to be.

Then, without any wrong doing on your part or at an inconvenient time, this person will say or do something to bring the relationship to an end.  Sometimes they die.  Sometimes they walk away.  Sometimes they act up or out and force you to take a stand.  What we must realize is that our need has been met, our desire fulfilled; their work is done.  The prayer you sent up has been answered and it is now time to move on.

When people come into your life for a SEASON, it is because your turn has come to share, grow or learn.  They may bring you an experience of peace or make you laugh.  They may teach you something you have never done.  They usually give you an unbelievable amount of joy.  Believe it!  It is real!  But, only for a season.

LIFETIME relationships teach you lifetime lessons; those things you must build upon in order to have a solid emotional foundation.  Your job is to accept the lesson, love the person (any way); and put what you have learned to use in all other relationships and areas of your life.  It is said that love is blind, but friendship is clairvoyant.

Author Unknown

“You have to get people talking the same language before you get them around the table” – Pakzan Dastoor

table blog post

“You have to get people talking the same language before you get them around the table” – Pakzan Dastoor

What a wonderful insight from the Dasra Foundation!

Dasra is an innovative foundation working on extreme social change in India.  I just heard them speak at an amazing conference at Stanford focusing on Indian philanthropy. Local Indians and Silicon Valley Indian entrepreneurs gathered together to discuss how to give intelligently.

Dasra’s strategic approach to social problems has dramatically increased the impact and scale of social change in India.  They helped take nearly 1000 nonprofits and socially conscious businesses to the next level. They have more than 28 research reports ranging from adolescent girls’ empowerment to child malnutrition and sports for development.

And Pakzan is right.   The Advisory Leader of Dasra knows that we need to collaborate, listen, and support one another in order to achieve true success.

So the “right language” is not really about a dialect.  It’s about our motivations.

Before we come to the table, we need to be on the same page.   That means our motives and aspirations are aligned.   Then we are really listening!  And the conversation builds to higher levels to serve the world, our communities and our partnerships.

Are you facing a challenge in philanthropy today? Or how about your own life?

We can take Pakzan’s advice.   Let’s slow down. We can make sure we are listening.   Are we speaking the same language? You might both be speaking Hindi.  But if you don’t have the same values, your words will blow right one another.

To truly scale we must have the same values.      

We can be great social innovators, communicators and doers by speaking the same language: Listen, love and support your partner.

As India’s leading strategic philanthropy foundation, Dasra actively shapes the process of social change by forming powerful partnerships with funders and social enterprises. In the past 15 years, Dasra has been working towards building a ‘thriving ecosystem’ that enables knowledge creation, capacity building, strategic funding, and collaboration in order to touch and transform the lives of 800 million Indians.