I truly believe there is power in philanthropy. Whether packaging up and passing out food or making financial contributions to help students stay in college, giving of my time, talent and treasure brings me joy. I believe this personal participation is vital for keeping the heartbeat of humanity in philanthropy.
I have a friend serving as an associate dean for development with a very well-known R1 University in the northeast. He has been making his way in the field of fund development for a little over a decade–having served at four different institutions. He has not only made a mark professionally, he has intentionally made a positive impact in the lives of the students he works to support every day.
This is especially important because of where this all started for him.
He was in his early years as a development professional when he and I met during an alumni event for his alma mater and my place of work. We recognized each other, but we were not certain from when or where.
Later, he approached me and asked if I was a member of The Omega Psi Phi Fraternity. I proudly replied, “Yes!” He went on to remind me of a donor recognition event a few years prior to that evening.
A local chapter of my fraternity had established an endowed scholarship at his university, and I was attending the event as a representative from my organization. He was a freshman at that time. He was also our first scholarship recipient. He shared that our conversation at the table, and a few others we had later, peaked his interest and inspired him to get into the field of professional fundraising.
My friend and I still stay in touch. We constantly share notes and swap stories on how philanthropy works and the impact it makes when it is practiced in intentional ways.
I encourage everyone to be intentional in the sharing of your time, talent and treasure with others—the power of philanthropy—as you never know what your personal investment will yield.