A special invitation to those who invest themselves in society through philanthropy and voluntary leadership.
We always felt we were on a heroic journey and it was confirmed to us by an introduction to Jim Lord’s Philanthropic Quest. Jim’s talent lies in helping individuals and organizations discover their strengths and articulate their highest aspirations for themselves and for society at large. This process energizes and inspires the commitment of volunteers and donors. What a gift for us all.
Co-founder, Southridge School, British Columbia, Canada
Imagine taking a little time to step back from the day-to-day and ask yourself: What could be possible? What contribution could you make in the coming year and beyond?
What if you could have complete clarity about your next contribution and what it will be like for you — to the point of feeling it in your bones? And if you had the first steps to get there -- to get there more easily and a commitment and design to accelerate it?
All so you are truly making the greatest, most inspired (and inspiring), strategic and consequential difference in the world. (Or at least in your world, the world right around you.)
What I do is show folks like you exactly how they can make their greatest contributions to the world. I do this by creating a safe space, asking the right questions, offering structure that can propel you forward, and laying a strategic foundation for new possibilities.
You might be longing to do something truly meaningful with the next chapter of your life, but are looking for more clarity and “oomph.”
Or you might want to take what you’re already doing and reinvent it, so it’s more significant, more fulfilling, more truly you.
You might even be looking to design your “legacy project” — the contribution to the world that will be your lasting gift.
Once you’ve got real clarity on what your “next” will be, your strategy becomes clear. So then we turn your dream into action.
You’ll have time, while we’re together at the retreat, to get a jump start on what you’ve cooked up — all the way to the detail of who you’re going to see, what you’re going to say to begin the conversation.
Another way to use this retreat is for you to host a small team from a cause or organization you want to advance. Mix it up with staff, board, donors — so you can break down the walls and meet as human beings who want a better world.
I encourage you to think about what a gift it can be to include staff leaders in this experience, as equal partners. They need time and space to think big, and they will never find it in the day-to-day pressures at the office.
You can give that to them — and at the same time honor their contributions, expand their capabilities, and dramatically strengthen your shared capacity to create the kind of world you want. (As one person said to me, “One of the most highly leveraged investments I can make is to inspire the people doing the work on my behalf, every day of their lives.”)
If you have a sense the answer might be “yes”
… if you are committed to stepping even more into your leadership potential
… if you want to make more possible for the world
… then I encourage you to respond to my questions in the brief application today. Even if you’re thinking of hosting a small team, the first step is for you to raise your hand, so don’t put it off while you think about the people you might invite.
Besides, you may find the questions will give you new clarity and energy, right away. (People often tell us they’re surprised by what they discover, simply in the process of answering.)
Maybe devote a few moments to yourself right now and take a look?
~ Jim Lord
It was from Jim Lord more than 25 years ago that I first learned about sacrificial giving. I saw a way of giving that actually makes a difference in my life, both in terms of affecting my wealth in order to invest in a large way and, at the same time, in increasing my sense of meaning in the results I’ve seen from those investments. My wife and I were able to do something we never dreamed possible.
Philanthropist and former Chairman and CEO of the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation and AmeriCorps
Jim magnifies one’s power to dream and dream big. My first workshop with him gave me courage to take the plunge and start my own non-profit organization, Muskaan (which means “smile” in English) — and energy to translate it into reality. I am grateful to Jim for allowing me to be part of this work because it has strengthened my courage to create the kind of world I want.
Founder of Muskaan, Lucknow, India
My first Quest workshop with Jim Lord at Cambridge University was a turning point. After it, everything was changed. We grew our first private university in Germany, which set the example for more than 100 others. And rescued another university 14 days before it would have gone into bankruptcy. (It’s now flourishing.)
For over 20 years responsible for fundraising and strategic planning at the first private university in Germany
Our programs are for anyone who seeks to advance a social cause or an organization of social good, and wants to understand more deeply how to release human energy — including significant philanthropy — toward that end. (We take a broad view of “philanthropy,” drawing on its root meaning: love of humanity.) If that's you, we encourage you to apply.
Our programs were first developed in response to requests for learning programs appropriate for high-level volunteer leaders and the most experienced professionals. In general, people with at least a few years of experience in the social sector are best positioned to benefit, and most participants have significant experience.
On occasion, we are able to accommodate someone who has high potential but less experience, to get them started on the right path. This is the exception, but if you are highly drawn to what you see here, we encourage you to apply.
If you have questions about whether the program is right for you and your specific goals, the next step is to complete an application so we can see together whether this is a fit.
Dates and locations are announced privately to those who have applied. After you've applied, you may even be able to influence dates to fit your calendar. (Once we know your level of desire, we pull out all the stops to make it easy for you to be with us.) Learn more about how that works.
Because our programs have strictly limited enrollment, we go to great lengths to make sure there’s an ideal mix of people in the room. (We often hear afterwards “what an amazing group of people that was!”)
The application process is not intended to weed you out (you’re more than “good enough”). We use it to get to know you a little and understand what you'd like to gain from the program, so together we can make sure you're in a position to get maximum benefit. And then we'll be able to place you in a group that will be a great fit for you. Learn more about applying.
Thanks to decades of experience, we have a good handle on who will be successful with this approach. If you see yourself in the following criteria, you're likely to be a great fit. (Or at least some of them, some of the time — “perfection” is not required!)
If you've registered for a program, but something unexpected happens and you are unable to attend, you can choose to:
Returning alums are welcomed with open arms.
Why do they return? Well, we’ve heard many say they want to immerse themselves again in the inspiring atmosphere — and be with people who share their aspirations and values.
After all, this program is much more than “training.” It’s a true retreat where we can restore our batteries, wallow in the mindset with like-minded folks, and leave refreshed with greater understanding of our work and more energy for the future.
That’s a big reason people return again and again.
Another reason is that you are different from the last time you were with us. You may be in a new role, at a new crossroads, or working with a new team you’d like to inspire.
And of course, we’re constantly learning from alums’ success, refining the program content, and introducing new elements and insights. If your last program was more than a couple of years ago, you’ll be surprised by how different it is today.
To keep the option open, please complete the application — in your case it’s less of an “application” and more of an update about what’s going on for you. Then we can see if the program would serve you again.
I came back home from the workshop with a renewed energy and confidence. With that I was able to initiate a network of people who believe in democratic values, have commitment to generate a new future and also positively influence political leaders to take bold actions. I have been engaged in this journey for last 15 years and I am fully convinced and confident that the learning I received at the workshop is what we need for a greater social transformation.
Community Leader, Kathmandu, Nepal