Monday, May 4, 2009

Money Magic

"Money stirs up considerable ambivalence in most of us. It is a metaphysical freight car laden with a variety of beliefs and fantasies."

Roy W. Menninger M.D.,"Foundation Work May Be Hazardous to Your Mental Health: Some Occupational Dangers of Grant Making (and Grant Receiving)," Council on Foundations, 1981.

Peter Singer in The Life You Can Save reports on research that shows that talking about or handling money influences behavior related to openness and giving.

"Why does money make us less willing to seek or give help, and to be close to others?"

One reason is that money represents individualism, self sufficiency, and the breakdown of reliance on family and community.

All of this underscores the inherent challenges in the grantor/grantee and donor/recipent relationships.

Menninger concludes: "Having money to give away and the power to decide whom to give it to is intoxicating, and foundations can be irritating examples of the 'narcissism of the righteous.'"

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