Brown M & M’s: Tasty Little Gems of Philanthropic Wisdom

Brown M & M’s: Tasty Little Gems of Philanthropic Wisdom

September 29, 2010 by jga_admin

by Angela E. White

Do you have brown M & M’s in your office?

Apparently, when the rock band VanHalen toured in the 1980s, their contract contained Article126, which read, "There will be no brown M&Ms in the backstage area, upon pain of forfeiture of the show, with full compensation."

Thus, when David Lee Roth got to the concert venue, he immediately checked the M & M bowl to see if it contained brown M & Ms.

This was not a power trip by Roth, but rather his check on details. If there were brown M & Ms in the bowl, then he would require that the concert operations plan be reviewed, line by line, so that he could ensure that no other details were overlooked.

This story was shared with me by Nicole Bickett, CEO of Vision Bridge (, an organization that works with companies to help them deal with the details and become more efficient. I think it is also an excellent reminder of the importance of details in the work that we do in philanthropy.

Think of the times that attention to the little details made all of the difference in building and strengthening relationships with those people who care about the mission of your organization.

So, I challenge you to think about the brown M & Ms and how attention to detail can strengthen your philanthropic work. And, by the way, I am eating M & Ms as I type this blog….and I ate the brown ones first!