Philanthropy Day events are taking place all over the country. National Philanthropy Day is both an official day – officially celebrated November 15 this year – and a grassroots movement about the importance of philanthropy in our world.
I love their tag line. “Change the World with a Giving Heart.” In my experience this is exactly how the world changes.
My Google Alerts setting includes the word philanthropy; so I receive countless alerts in my email about events across the country and the inspiring stories of philanthropists of all stripes.
Historians and pundits say that when bad things happen in the world things change. I would respond that indeed things change but it is more so because those bad things motivate us in unexpected ways. Very often good things come because of our motivation to change bad things.
Voluntary acts become unexpected heroism. Giving to provide a hand up or a hand out becomes the fulfillment of a dream to help someone else or make someone’s dream come true. It may change things for only one person or one family or one community at that moment. But that’s what it looks like, inspired change – one action at a time- that changes our world.
I’ve asked many donors what one thing they would change if money were no object. Often the individual repeats the question back to me as if taking time to unlock a door. Behind that door is invariably a deeply held conviction or dream longing for action. The actions required are invariably bigger than what any one person can do alone.
The change the world needs on any given day is required of all of us. I hope that as you approach this season of Thanksgiving you will find your place in the growing movement of philanthropic engagement. It takes all kinds of giving, time, money and wisdom. While you are giving thanks for family and friends please remember to be thankful for the opportunity to make a difference in the world with your own giving heart.