Feeling down? Anxious? Depressed? Looking for a “lift” that will sustain you? Let us recommend becoming involved with a nonprofit as part of your cure! Here’s what we know: you will find some of the best people on the planet engaged in the life of our country’s many nonprofits. If just for a moment, your spirits can be lifted as you volunteer side-by-side (or virtually) with those who make the nonprofit world go round.
There are so many ways to get involved – and all fall under the category of “philanthropy.” That’s right – the title philanthropist is yours for the taking when you give of your time, talent, and treasure. Each of us has a unique gift – or bouquet of gifts – to offer. When we offer our gifts, we demonstrate our love of humanity, and that’s what philanthropy is all about. As we help others, we help ourselves as we experience a respite from the anxiety, depression, and unnamed malaise that so many of us are battling with.
Every day the two of us are privileged to work with people who are busy changing lives on a large and small basis: people who are building community; strengthening culture, keeping history, and visioning the future. Nonprofit leaders and volunteers are creative, always have a game plan and are ready to get to work. They are excellent at managing people – whether they are staff or volunteers. They are not afraid to ask for what they need and are immune to disappointments. They advocate for what they believe is right and just. They need no recognition or awards to be motivated: they are both outstanding leaders and followers who are forever going beyond the call of duty.
The people associated with nonprofit organizations are caring; committed; unselfish; and willing and able to share their treasure and time. These people are enthusiastic evangelists, sharing the story of the nonprofits they are involved with and encouraging others to join with them. Whether in an official or unofficial leadership role these people are more than optimists: they are visionaries and futurists. They are focused on what could be: they don’t let “what is” get them down. This is true across the board – including within Black communities.
Black people have been coming together over the centuries providing mutual aid; building colleges, universities, and hospitals; caring for generations of children, raising scholarship funds, serving as mentors, and supporting childcare and healthcare. Black philanthropists have built theatres and dance studios, inspired artists, entrepreneurs, scientists, ministers, and athletes. While Black people are often portrayed as recipients of philanthropy within the culture at large, the truth is that Black people have been giving, strategizing, visioning, and leading for the past 400 years. This powerful history is recognized and celebrated each August as Black Philanthropy Month. This year the Community Foundation of Greater Memphis joined in the celebration with an online forum
It is Black philanthropy month: join us in taking a minute to stop and say “thank you” to the best people in the world, those who are involved in supporting nonprofits.
[Copyright 2021 – Mel and Pearl Shaw of Saad&Shaw – Comprehensive Fund Development Services. Video and phone conferencing services always available. Let us help you grow your fundraising. Call us at (901) 522-8727. www.saadandshaw.com.]