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August 22, 2013

Many many years ago, I went to a learning session where the topic was philanthropy.  It changed my entire way of thinking.  Prior to this, I thought fundraising was about fighting for a piece of the donation pie.  Conversely, this speaker shared the idea that people want to give.  That everyone will connect to a different story.  So tell the story of your cause, and people will either connect with it an want to donate or they won’t.  And there isn’t much you can do one way or the other about that.  In addition, the speaker said we need to encourage a culture of philanthropy.  Not giving because we are going to get something in return, but rather giving because giving is good.

I don’t remember the speaker’s name or even what they looked like.  But like I said, this 2 hour session changed my life.  I realized that when you are seeking or requesting the donation, it’s not a competition but about sharing a story that resonates with people.  It also reminded me that I really do value, philanthropy as defined above.  Not because people will find out, not because I’ll get a thank note, a small gift or even a tax receipt.  Giving or generosity is a good thing.  I think it’s a behaviour to be valued and celebrated.

So I won’t tell you how much money to give, or really even to give money.  But I encourage you to think about how you can be generous.  To consider your thoughts on the definition of philanthropy, I have tried to provide above.  And then set about in the next few days to find a way to be ‘generous’.  Think about the impact it would have if we all did that a bit more often.

Sky Report: hazy and rainy

Yarn Strands; rain (the lightest blue which I used to signify yesterday’s haziness) and grey


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