the two of us joined a money support group. Even though
most of the seven group members are "old hands" who have
been dealing with wealth for a decade or more, there's
electricity when we get together; we are awed by the collective
power that our earning, giving, spending, and investing
could have to support a better world, especially when
we imagine this power multiplied by the thousands of concerned
people with wealth we know are out there.
this issue of
More than Money
has whet your appetite
to talk with others about the money in your life, or to
interact with a different circle of people than those
with whom you tend to spend time, you might wonder where
you could find such conversations? Below is a quick "map"
of different kinds of money discussions we have come across.
You can find listings for organizations hosting various
of these in the unabridged version of our newly-revised
resource guide,Taking Charge, described in our Resources
Section. The guide lists dozens of consultants and organizations
(not to mention hundreds of useful books) that will steer
you to safe and useful places to talk with others about
you research options, please keep in mind that you're
bound to enjoy some people more than others, so persist
until you find the relationships that are most useful
ways to connect
for people with
wealth. Conferences bring people together for an evening,
a day, a weekend, or longer, and address personal, political,
philanthropic, technical, spiritual, and familial issues
related to wealth and values. A number of organizations
on going membership networks
for a particular
constituency (e.g. women, people in their 20's, widows)
or for those who share a particular interest (family foundations,
socially-responsible business, public policy).
you live in a big city there may be
you could attend, or perhaps you'd prefer to organize
one yourself. Discussion groups or salons tend to be open
to newcomers, and meet quarterly, monthly, or sporadically
to discuss a variety of topics. Support or study groups
usually meet more often and require ongoing commitment.
If you live in a more isolated area, or just want to interact
with more people,
discussions on the Internet
More than Money
's listserve, offer both
relative anonymity and human contact every day, from any
have also found it meaningful to reach across the boundaries
of financial differences. In
cross-class dialogue groups
participants talk from a variety of class perspectives
about their financial joys, pains, stereotypes, and hopes
for the world. There are also programs where people with
wealth can take part in hands-on
service in struggling
here and abroad, and then talk together
about the significance of their experiences. Even
for people who support particular
issues (for example, the environment or AIDS) can be stimulating
environments for cross- class discussion about money.
if you have particular issues on your mind, you might
also find it helpful to
talk with a trained professional
be it a therapist who specializes in wealth issues, an
empathetic financial planner, or an estate planner who
focuses on values.
Power of Talk
of you may still be asking yourselves: Why take the time
to talk with others about money? We believe it is valuable
because conferences, support groups, and Internet discussions
can expand your possibilities. They can increase your
knowledge in specific ways (e.g. "Anyone have a good accountant?,"
"How do you make a giving plan?"). They can enrich your
life with friendship, offer basic release of knowing you're
not alone, and even lead you to a long-term mentor for
an area of your financial development. Furthermore, joining
with others can help you see beyond the bubble of your
individual values and experiences, and can offer the potential
of increased influence by pooling ideas, money, and actions.
addition to these personal benefits, talk has always been
a powerful precursor to social change. In the 1960's,
not every woman who joined a "consciousness-raising group,"
where women simply talked The Aims of
More than Money
People with wealth supposedly have it all. Targets of
envy and resentment, we rarely have a safe forum for addressing
the unique challenges that come with having surplus while
deeply caring about others who have too little.
creates a network of kindred spirits across
North America (and overseas) who
don't always share the same views, but who grapple with
some of the same essential questions. By sharing a wide
range of personal experiences, the publication explores
how money is linked to virtually every aspect of our lives-from
how we get along in our closest relationships, to how
we feel about work, and how we define and pursue our purpose
More than Money
informs its readers about
inspirational models of people and organizations using
their financial resources with unusual integrity and power.
It encourages all of us to pursue our dreams and to contribute
our money, time, and talents towards creating a more just
and sustainable world. together about their lives, ultimately
became active in the women's movement, but without such
groups, the feminist movement would not have bloomed.
In the decades preceding the American Revolution, King
Charles II issued "A Proclamation for the Suppression
of Coffeehouses." Charles was no fool- he knew what trouble
could come from people openly talking about what was on
their minds. We hope that talking about money leads to
trouble of the best kind: a growing determination to discover
how we can use our full clout to further life, liberty,
and happiness for all.
all these reasons and more, we hope that you, dear
reader, not only soak up the journal in
the privacy of your home, but find a way to talk with
others about the issues it raises and the money questions
that burn in your own life.
the very least, you could begin by showing an issue of
More than Money
to one or more people you know-a
family member, a friend, a financial or religious advisor,
or a trusted colleague. Your opening line can be as simple
as "Hey, what do you think of this?" If you haven't done
so before, you may be surprised at the depth of conversation
this opens up, and the energy released when you dare to
break the silence.
Slepian and Christopher Mogil, editors
© 1990-2005, More Than Money, All rights reserved