Tag Archives: George Steinbrenner

Social Media & Planned Giving

Portrait of a senior woman holding a mobile phone and smiling Model Release: Yes Property Release: NA

NPR reports that penetration of social media among those 50 and over nearly doubled in just the past year. It’s still only at 42%, but it’s rising very steeply. That has implications for Planned Giving.

To be sure, you need to know your constituency. If it does not reflect the national trend, you don’t want to allocate time to an initiative that can be very time consuming. Your Facebook page and Twitter stream need constant attention–if you’re going to do them right–and proper social media practice goes well beyond those best-known sites. I leave the details of inaugurating a nonprofit social media presence to more august thinkers.

If social media has deeply penetrated your 50-and-over constituents, your Planned Giving program can ride that wave. There’s potential for sharing testimonials that will engage others; hosting webinars on financial and estate planning; reconnecting classmates at all education levels; virtual donor recognition; coordinating direct mail with web content; and lots of other creativity. Much of your pre-existing online presence may be appropriate for your PG constituency, and you can make them aware of what you offer in ways you might not have in the past.

I’m really interested in ideas you have, or things you’re already doing, with social media for your Planned Giving prospects.

Steinbrenner’s Yankees Spending As Philanthropy

381058 13: New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani, right, talks with New York Yankees owner George Steinbrenner October 30, 2000 after the Yankees'' victory parade in New York City. The Yankees defeated the New York Mets four-games-to-one last week in the city's first Subway Series since 1956. It was the Yankees'' third consecutive World Series Championship. (Photo by Chris Hondros/Getty Images)

George Steinbrenner was widely known as a philanthropist, especially in Tampa, where he lived much of his life. That was the usual brand of philanthropy and his reputation is well deserved.

I’m positing something different.

Could his lavish spending on the Yankees franchise be a form of philanthropy? It benefited the public and philanthropy is a public good. His Yankees spending brought all kinds of division and World Series titles to New York City and gave fans enormous boasting rights.

Is that not a public good? Especially considering the team’s miserable condition when he bought it in 1973, when it was more a reason for embarrassment than a source of pride.

I don’t mean, “was it legally philanthropy,” or “charitable” as in the Internal Revenue Code. I’m not suggesting his expenses were deductible, or anything of the sort.

But since his money brought so much joy and pride to a city’s people, can we say his private spending was philanthropic? Weigh in and let me know what you think.