With today being National Philanthropy Day, and with the foundation of my career being constructed on the generosity of others, I've decided to challenge myself a bit over the next 40 days. To geek out a little bit, philanthropy is defined in Websters as a "love of mankind; a benevolent act; a gift." So as I sit here and celebrate this not so well known, national holiday, my wheels are a spinnin' on how I can make this day and the art of generosity a little deeper as I approach my tenth year in this field.
Although I stumbled somewhat awkwardly and not so gracefully into a career in fundraising and development (Seriously, my first interview in 2003 at The Citadel Foundation was awful. And I mean, how did I even get a 2nd interview awful??). Luckily for me, I grew up in a home where giving and serving was lived out. My amazing parents are generous of their time and treasure, and I know that although this "stumble" was unplanned, the foundation my parents laid out for me in what giving looks like, would soon become a great fit.
Almost 10 years later, I realize just how truly blessed I am to get to come to work in a field that blesses others. Daily. I've done the whole for profit sector, and although there's nothing wrong bringing in those dolla dolla bills, it wasn't my cup of tea. I need to feel like I'm making a difference. I need to know that my time at the office is bettering someone else's world. Hence, my love for non-profits. And my unwavering love for philanthropy.
Starting tomorrow, Nov. 14th, through Christmas Eve on Dec. 24th, I'm committing to 40 days of giving. I'm not sure what this truly looks like for me, but I'm excited. I need to stretch. I personally need to rejuvenate my definition of philanthropy, and I think this will be a great start. Some acts may be small like a phone call to a friend that I haven't spoken with in awhile, and other acts may be larger, but the journey will be the same. Love my fellow mankind, act on compassion, and give what I can. And then do it all over again the next day. For 40 days.
If you'd like to join me in this, I'd love a partner for accountability. This blog will serve as accountability in itself, but giving is always more meaningful when it's shared. And you never know, we just might make a difference this holiday season.
Happy National Philanthropy Day. Let's do this thing!