With all the day’s events from around the world filling every available media – from newspapers, radio and TV to Twitter, Instagram and YouTube – one thing that gets lost in all the news clutter is the message about how much the charities, churches, colleges, and other causes in our lives need the support of folks who care.
Economist Arthur Brooks has asked – and answered – the question, “Who Really Cares?” and the overwhelming conclusion he discovered during his thorough research is that the folks who care the most are the folks we all know best – our friends, families, and neighbors. Sure, there are the big-time philanthropists we see in the news making gifts of $50 or $100 million (or more), but there’s just not a lot of Vanderbilts, Carnegies, Buffetts, and Gates around. While such gifts can certainly transform an organization and take it to a new level of service, the many modest gifts typically are the ones that keep the doors of the organization open day in and day out. Indeed, the lion’s share of charitable giving comes from folks of modest means – billions of dollars in charitable gifts come from millions of donors every year. And all the causes we care about are able to help make our lives and society better thanks to these folks – in fact, thanks to you.
Without a doubt, it’s easy these days to be concerned about a lot of things happening around the world – and, right in our own corner of the world. Many of these may be quite beyond our capacity to effect the ultimate outcomes. But, what is well within our reach is the chance – right now – to do something that can truly have an impact. Whether it’s a gift to your alma mater to help with scholarship needs for students trying to be the first members of their families going to college, or a pledge at work for United Way, or adding a special gift in the plate at your place of worship for a mission trip, or making a commitment to the capital campaign to build a new childcare center in your town – whatever it may be, it will be greatly appreciated.
I suppose it comes down to this: If you care, this is a terrific time to act on your caring nature. Not only will the beneficiary of your generosity be appreciative, but you’ll be glad you did it, too.
And, if you have a question, or want to learn more about the impact of philanthropy in our world, just send me a note at firstname.lastname@example.org.