There have been some inspiring occasions lately that have given us the opportunity to celebrate and recognize philanthropy: National Philanthropy Day on November 15th, and then #GivingTuesday, which took place this past Tuesday. #GivingTuesday is the philanthropic response to the more commercial/consumer-based “holidays” of Black Friday and Cyber Monday. I know many non-profit organizations took advantage of #GivingTuesday, and I hope they were all successful in their efforts!!!
Moreover, this time of year – whether you celebrate Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, or nothing specific – is all about giving. Giving presents, giving time to organizations in need, or giving time to yourself, your family, and your friends… It can also be about giving philanthropically, but it doesn’t have to be! My thought is that it’s worthwhile to try to find a balance in this season – giving presents, receiving presents, carving out time for yourself and your loved ones, giving to those in need whether through time or financial resources, and taking a moment (if not more) to be grateful for the wonderful things you have in life.
In closing, I wanted to share a meaningful and poignant quote I saw posted on my friend Dan’s Facebook page.
Money is either a good or bad influence, according to the character of the person who possesses it. It’s true. Money has no character, no personality, no values. Its actions only reflect the desires of its owner. Money can build great hospitals and schools, or it can be gambled away or squandered on meaningless possessions. Money may build museums to house beautiful works of art, it may construct beautiful houses of worship — or it may be used to create instruments of war and destruction. As you build your personal wealth, make sure you build your character by setting aside a portion of your income to help others. Choose a church, a charity, or a cause that you can enthusiastically support. Then give of your money and your time in support of that cause. The primary beneficiary of such noble actions is always the one who gives, not the one who receives.
Written by Maeve Strathy
Maeve is the Founder of What Gives Philanthropy and has been working in educational fundraising for the past 6 years. Click here to learn more about Maeve.