In more than forty years of writing, activism, and fundraising for the issues I care about, I’ve learned a thing or two—or five—about what works and what doesn’t:

  1. “There is no end to how much you can accomplish if you don’t care who gets the credit.” I don’t know who coined that maxim, but I’ve quoted it for decades because it’s true. Many people have a dual motivation for their activism—the upfront goal of advancing a cause and making the world a better place, and the hidden goal of aggrandizing or promoting themselves. Maimonides said the highest form of tzedakah (charity) is anonymous giving. I think the best test of a pure commitment to social justice is one’s willingness to do the work with zero expectation of honor or recognition. Sign your writing, by all means. Own your ideas (and failures). Accept kudos and...

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