Cogwheel Archive

Rotary Cogwheel | 12.18.2014

December 16, 2014

Today: Kevin Born and Naomi Mortenson, Environmental Tillage Systems (Lorang)

Birthdays: Lots of candles this week: Jim Pokorney (12/7), Dean Johnson (12/14), Dale Ness and John Ophaug (12/15), Blake Abdella and Vicki Dilley (12/21), Virginia Kaczmarek (12/22), Bill Carlson (12/23), Rich Lorang and Neil Lutsky (12/27), Jake Conway (12/28), and Ingrid Sampo (1/2).

Next Week: Two week “holiday hiatus” then on January 8 we will have Libby McKenna here to talk about “Water Pumps in Southern Nepal” (Sinning)

Last Week:

Editor’s Note: This is a good example of “pretty close journalism.” During last week’s presentation, I was forced to take notes in the dark, so I may be a little fuzzy on the details. Thanks for your patience. Here it comes.

Do you want to see a $150 billion increase in annual giving to health and human service nonprofits?

Dan Pallotta, a social entrepreneur and humanitarian activist, believes it can happen if we rethink our approach to charitable fundraising. He says we have it all wrong. By borrowing some of the private sector’s rules of the road, we could dramatically increase the resources available for the causes we support.

President Rich shared a TED Talk Pallotta gave recently on this issue. Matthew said he hopes it will stimulate a conversation about our personal and club philosophies on charitable giving.

Charitable giving has been stable at about 2 percent of gross national product for the last 40 years. Even a 1 percent increase would generate another $150 billion annually, Pallotta estimates.

But he says, we have to stop confusing morality with frugality. Nonprofits’ success is limited by conventional beliefs that suggest: 1) Nonprofit executives should sacrifice compensation for the opportunity to work in a mission-driven organization; 2) Advertising is an expense, not an investment; 3) We must play safe with donated dollars, which discourages innovation and risk-taking; 4) We can’t afford to operate with long time horizons or long-term investments; 5) Overhead is a dirty word. There should never be money left over.

Progress on social and humanitarian initiatives is slow on many fronts. Poverty for 10 percent of our population is an intransigent problem. He said if we want to follow Buckminister Fuller’s advice and work for a “world that works for everyone” we need to make changes. That will be up to each one of us.

For another look at Pallotta’s TED talk, go to:

Guests: No guests today. Just us.

Scholarship Enhancement: Giulia Mercanti, our exchange student


— Today is the last day to submit a nomination for this year’s Good Neighbor Award. Please share your nomination with Erica Zweifel. Nominees who give expression to the Rotary motto “Service Above Self” will be considered. They must be a resident of the Northfield School District. Rotary members and their family members are not eligible.

— Rob Bierman tied up some loose ends on the Turkey Trot. The Weitz Center received good reviews as a staging area, and the results of an online survey of participants were very favorable. He also thanked Fred Rogers, Charlie Cogan and Joe Hargis for helping secure the Weitz Center for the event. Between donations and our gift of Great Harvest Bread, the event generated more than 1,000 pounds of food for the Northfield Food Shelf.

Rotary is responsible Meals-On-Wheels delivery the first two full weeks of January. If you are interested in driving, sign up on our web site or check with Lynne Pederson.

— Vicki Dilley is recovering from back surgery. A bulletin was circulated and members shared words of encouragement.

— Twenty-one Northfield students were among the 70 that attended Country Fair Dec. 6. They will soon learn if they have been selected for an exchange year.

Coming Up:

Dec. 29 — YEAR (Youth Exchange And Reflections)

Jan. 15 — Ramiz Allawala, Wellstone Training (Taylor)

Jan. 22 — Liz Blanchard, Northfield Women’s Center (Amerman)

Jan. 29 — Lydia shares her youth exchange experience.