The commuter boat that I rode across the bay this morning had a very wind-beaten Christmas tree lashed to the open deck. The crew had obviously been committed to the endeavor and had used at least ten heavy ropes tied from various portions of the tree to various parts of the rail to secure it. Despite that, by the time we reached our destination it had listed to the side and the lights had gone out. No matter – it was still lovely. This was actually my favorite part of this holiday season. It was obviously such a labor of collective will and love.

It is absolutely frigid here in Boston today. Everyone is walking around with their shoulders all hunched up, hidden behind hats and scarves and upturned collars. In such weather you have to keep your conversations short.

But sometimes a short conversation can be just right. In putting together the Winter issue — where we have an article scheduled about online fundraising — I had the opportunity to ask Eli Pariser of MoveOn the following question: “What is the link between fundraising from people online and offering them other opportunities to take action?”

I figure he should know. . .

Within a few short paragraphs he managed to reframe the question and answer it quite thoroughly – reminding us of old principles in the context of new technological approaches and, at the same time, teaching me at least one new thing.

I hope you enjoy this small instructive piece as much as I did and I look forward to seeing you next year.