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Lisa M. Dietlin
Lisa M. Dietlin is an internationally recognized expert on philanthropy, charitable giving, and transformational change who, as a leading figure in the American nonprofit sector, is a highly coveted keynote speaker, media personality and philanthropic consultant.

Ms. Dietlin’s decades-long experience in the fundraising and nonprofit arenas, groundbreaking research on giving patterns, and influential ideas on transformational philanthropy have led her to become one of the most trusted philanthropic advisors in the nation. She is a frequent presence on several TV and radio programs, including NBC, CBS, Oprah & Friends Radio, WGN and WCIU in Chicago, FOX News and National Public Radio. She is frequently quoted in national publications such as USA Today, Marketwatch, Reuters and The Chronicle of Philanthropy, and regularly contributes to The Huffington Post on her blog “Making a Difference®: The World of Giving.” In 2007, Lisa was named Charity Contributor to CBS 2 Chicago, and has since appeared regularly to share ideas on how to get involved in charitable giving.

Ms. Dietlin is also the author of four books on the subjects of charitable giving and enacting positive change: Transformational Philanthropy: Entrepreneurs and Nonprofits, Making a Difference: 365 Tips, Ideas, and Stories to Change Your World, Making A Difference II: More Tips, Ideas and Stories to Change Your World, Making A Difference® III: Still More Tips, Ideas and Stories to Change Your World.

Her fifth book, The Power of Three: How to achieve your goals by simply doing three things a day was published in June 2014. All of her books are available for purchase on and on the Amazon Kindle.

As President and CEO of Lisa M. Dietlin and Associates, Inc., Lisa provides her expert advice and structured counsel to entrepreneurial individuals and nonprofit organizations to develop strategies that facilitate transformational philanthropy and charitable giving. Ms. Dietlin has provided her services to over 140 organizations nationwide, including the Library of Congress, Alzheimer’s Association and Feeding America.

Active in the development and fundraising arenas since 1982, Ms. Dietlin is, and continues to be, active on many on nonprofit boards where she contributes her extensive experience in strategic planning for development and fundraising. She is a frequent and highly valued speaker on the subjects of entrepreneurial giving, major gifts fundraising, moves management and board development.

Ms. Dietlin is a member of the Association of Fundraising Professionals (AFP). She holds a Master’s Degree in Philanthropy and Development from Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota. She has served as an adjunct faculty member for the Nonprofit Degree and Certificate Program at North Park University in Chicago, Illinois, where she taught "Annual and Major Gifts Fundraising” and the self-designed course "Capital Campaigns for Nonprofit Organizations.”

Ms. Dietlin resides in Chicago. She is originally from Alpena, Michigan.

Entries by Lisa M. Dietlin

Making a Difference: The World of Giving -- David v. Goliath Fight... Who Will Win a Million Dollars?

(4) Comments | Posted October 26, 2015 | 12:03 AM

Every once in while a nonprofit organization comes along that melts my heart and has me hit the pause button on life to learn more. That is what happened when I learned about Mary's Place by the Sea and its effort to win Revlon's "Love is...

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Making A Difference: The World of Giving - US Charitable Giving Surpasses All Past Records in 2014

(0) Comments | Posted June 16, 2015 | 12:05 AM

It feels like least in the nonprofit world as that was the height of the philanthropic contribution levels. And yes, seven (7) years after the devastating recession, charitable donation levels have exceeded the banner year of 2007 for the first time. This means Americans donated more money in 2014...

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Making A Difference: The World of Giving: Don't Judge a Book (or a Volunteer Opportunity) By Its Cover

(0) Comments | Posted April 12, 2015 | 7:50 PM

Recently I attended the Tucson Festival of Books (TFOB) both as a presenting author and as a fan of books. TFOB is the fourth largest book festival in the United States and it has only been around for seven years! What I came to recognize while there is...

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Making a Difference: The World of Giving - Authors, Books, Reading and Literacy

(0) Comments | Posted March 11, 2015 | 12:15 PM

What are you reading? What was the last book you read? These are two of my favorite questions to ask in order to jump start a conversation with an old friend or a new acquaintance. It always warms my heart when I listen to someone talk about a book they...

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Making a Difference: The World of Giving -- Making 2015 the Year of Giving

(0) Comments | Posted December 31, 2014 | 10:04 AM

At the start of every New Year, many make resolutions and most having every intention of keeping them. However, as the days and weeks pass they often are forgotten or set aside, replaced with the activities of everyday life! I have an idea. Instead of resolutions let's make a plan...

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Making a Difference: The World of Giving - Recipients in the 50 States for Good Program

(0) Comments | Posted December 17, 2014 | 11:05 AM

I thought I knew a lot about the nonprofit sector, as it is my chosen profession, but after serving as a judge for the Tom's of Maine 50 States for Good community giving program, I have learned a lot more.

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Making a Difference: The World of Giving -- Movers, Shakers and Bakers... Oh My!

(0) Comments | Posted November 8, 2014 | 11:01 AM

In my line of work, helping people do philanthropy better, I am invited and asked to attend numerous fundraising events for all types of nonprofit organizations. On any given night of the week, or weekend for that matter, I could attend at least one if not two or three events....

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Making a Difference in the World of Giving: The Summer-Athon Season

(0) Comments | Posted August 4, 2014 | 12:27 PM

Summer is in full swing! The sights and sounds of summer are everywhere and include music and food festivals, baseball and softball games, eating outdoors at restaurants or picnics and, of course, the numerous walkathons, marathons and bikeathons for charity!

It seems as if every weekend you can participate in...

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Making A Difference: The World of Giving - US Charitable Giving Increases for the Fourth Year in a Row!

(0) Comments | Posted June 17, 2014 | 12:05 AM

Philanthropy and charitable donations are back! Americans once again gave more in 2013 than in the previous year. As Americans, we supported causes we cared about with gifts both big and small. Indeed, giving is returning to the pre-recession levels seen in 2007, which was the height of philanthropic contributions.

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Making a Difference: The World of Giving - the Olympics Are Inspirational Even in Times of Security Concerns and Controversy

(0) Comments | Posted February 10, 2014 | 10:48 AM

As shared in a previous Huffington Post blog when the 2012 Summer Olympics were taking place, you, like I am, are probably very excited about the Winter Games taking place in Sochi. The games, the athletes and the competition are remarkable with many moving, inspirational and even aspirational stories to...

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Making A Difference: The World of Giving - "50 STATES FOR GOOD" Announces Those Organizations Doing the Most Good

(0) Comments | Posted November 12, 2013 | 11:42 AM

Rarely does a company come into my life that gets me excited. Most I encounter pay some lip service to being charitable and giving back while all the time eying the bottom line of profitability for the company and often providing excuses of why they don't do more or promises...

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Making a Difference: The World of Giving - Remembering 9/11

(1) Comments | Posted September 11, 2013 | 12:18 PM

To some, 12 years seems like a lifetime. To others it seems as if it flew by in the blink of an eye. Regardless where you stand on this spectrum of viewing time, twelve years is a significant number when remembering what happened in 2001.

September 11, 2001 is...

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Making a Difference: The World of Giving - Going Back to School and Giving Back to Educators

(0) Comments | Posted August 26, 2013 | 11:55 AM

The approaching Labor Day holiday means one thing to many and at least two things to parents: it's the unofficial close of summer and time for the kids to head back to school. Back-to-school shopping can be a nightmare, but the school supplies parents provide can mean more to teachers...

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Making A Difference: A World of Giving - Providing a Healthy Start for All Babies

(2) Comments | Posted July 22, 2013 | 1:01 PM

Not many newborns arrive into this world with 24-hour news coverage and months of worldwide attention. But Will and Kate's baby has already grabbed the spotlight, as all eyes have turned to St. Mary's Hospital in London in order to welcome the newest member of the royal family.

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Making a Difference: A World of Giving - Honoring America on Independence Day by Giving Back

(0) Comments | Posted July 1, 2013 | 5:36 PM

I love the July 4th holiday! Independence Day is not just a great time to be with family and friends watching fireworks and enjoying the perfect barbeque. It is also a time to reflect on the many gifts we, as Americans, have been given every day, as a community and...

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Making a Difference: The World of Giving -- US Charitable Giving in 2012 Increases Again But Slowly

(1) Comments | Posted June 18, 2013 | 12:05 AM

Yes, it's that time of year again when the numbers for donations in the previous year are released and everyone is wondering what happened in 2012. Did Americans make more or less charitable donations to their favorite charitable causes? Will giving ever return to the levels seen in 2007 which...

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Making a Difference: The World of Giving on Father's Day

(0) Comments | Posted June 14, 2013 | 12:30 PM

Father's Day festivities tend to be a familiar sight throughout the United States, as families gather to enjoy a barbecue at the park or cheer on their favorite baseball team. While giving the traditional card and gift, usually a tie or set of golf balls, is a nice gesture, these...

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Making A Difference: The World of Giving - Child Abuse Prevention Month

(0) Comments | Posted April 22, 2013 | 2:54 PM

Child abuse is a topic many find challenging to discuss or even think about, but it's necessary, especially with the alarming statistics reported annually in this country. According to the Children's Bureau of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, approximately 3.4 million reports of child abuse...

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Making a Difference: The World of Giving - April Is Autism Awareness Month

(3) Comments | Posted April 15, 2013 | 4:15 PM

Did you know that autism is the fastest-growing developmental disorder but is also the most underfunded? This April marks Autism Awareness Month, an entire month devoted to raising awareness about this disease.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention one in...

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Making a Difference: The World of Giving - Remember Your Charitable Donations Still Count in this Year's Tax Return

(0) Comments | Posted April 3, 2013 | 9:38 PM

It's tax return filing time! As many of us scurry to gather our receipts and recollect the donations we made in 2012, there is a chorus of folks who say that the predicted elimination of the deductibility of charitable donations will result in fewer people giving or people...

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