This is the Chinese word for crisis - weiji. Many new-agers believe that it is made up of two characters - danger and opportunity. In reading an essay entitled, "Danger + Opportunity≠ Crisis" by Victor H. Mair, professor of Chinese language and literature at the University of Pennsylvania, with contributions from Denis Mair and Zhang Liqing, I learned that this is not the case. According to Dr. Mair, the second character means incipient moment or crucial point. As I interperate it further - it is a time in space for change to occur.
We are facing this time of Ji. A time where as society, we have choices we can make that will further entrench us in our crisis - social, environmental, financial, etc. or choices that can elevate us out of these situations thereby "saving our neck." It is in the latter that I see the opportunity of the Ji.
A friend of mine - Chris Hsiung, has created his business helping individuals reshape their businesses and themselves by looking at the crisis points of the human venture and shifting the thought process. In a recent posting on his blog, Chris points out as humans we can justify anything even if it contradicts who we are as an individual.
When we are looking at crisis management, whether it is addressing funding issues as a result of Madoff or a national stimulus package as reiterated by Obama in his speech to Congress last night, we can either choose to keep ourselves in the boxes that we have self-defined. Or we can choose to take this JI and flip it over, turn it inside and come up with a new paradigm.
What is this new paradigm?
We can no longer depend on the traditional models that ran society, because in front of our eyes, those models are falling apart. The people and institutions that we held as pillars are crumbling. Many people are talking and writing about the social shifts. The impact that Twitter is having through its Twestivals. Or the business models that are being tested by social entrepreneurs. Or, the new ways that people are seeking out venture capital.
So, unlike what Victor Mair states that ji is not opportunity. I believe that the space that surrounds ji is definitely one for opportunity. It just depends on how we chose to use it.
@consciousgovern Brought to my attention on his latest Twitter post this article from the Wall Street Journal on how one group of charitable investors are trying to help organizations who have been affected by the Madoff Ponzi Scheme.
The article states that people's confidence in fundraising is at an all time low. I wonder how much this confidence is influenced by the media and how much is people actually choosing to cut their philanthropy. What I have noticed with my clients is that they are not cutting the dollar value of the gifts, rather they are cutting the number of organizations that are recieving those donations.
What are your thoughts? How would you like to see the organizations that you support address the current financial market?
Dexterity Consulting is offering a special package for charities affected by the Madoff scandal.
This special package includes:
- Developing and implementing a crisis funding plan and coaching the organization's team through the process.
- Reviewing governance structures and working the Board of Directors to develop safe-guards around funds.
- Developing SUSTAINABLE fundraising practices and coaching team in order to have ongoing successful campaigns.
For more information please contact Gena at email@example.com.
I rely on you to further disseminate this information as widely as possible to all our members, donors and friends.
With best regards,
National President, CHW
Source: JTA Breaking News, December 16, 2008
Hadassah says it lost $90 million in Madoff scandal
By Jacob Berkman · December 17, 2008Hadassah, the Women
's Zionist Organization of America, announced that it had lost $90 million with Bernard Madoff.
“We are currently in the process of investigating the exact amounts and their impact, but it appears that at the time of his arrest, Hadassah had approximately $90 million invested with his firm,” the organization said Wednesday in a statement. “Falling victim to this unprecedented fraud will require us to make necessary adjustments, but it has not in the slightest affected our commitment to our core Zionist mission. These are indeed turbulent times, but the key pillars of Hadassah remain as strong as ever.”
Madoff was one of more than two dozen firms with which its funds were invested, according to a source with knowledge of the situation.
This takes a sizable chunk out of Hadassah
's endowment, which was believed to be worth around $500 million.
Hadassah was already facing tough times because of the current economic downfall, adopting cuts in its operating budget and expecting additional reductions in the coming months. The details of the yet-to-be-determined cuts are likely to become more clear following a board meeting in January.
“Now the Madoff situation compounds accelerates the matter,” said a source close to the situation.
A Hadassah spokesman said the losses connected to Madoff will Not affect the construction of a new tower at its main campus in Ein-Kerem in
The $210 million
Hadassah Medical Centerthe was started with a $75 million gift from Detroit Piston’s owner William Davidson. Sarah Wetsman Davidson Tower
Several questions arise from this situation:
What is going on internally with this charity that they cannot come back with a response (yes or no) to accepting the donation?
Should the family take the offer off the table?
Why would I even suggest putting an offer like this in front of an organization that does not have the capacity to manage the gift?
How can this charity better manage the donation?