Philanthropic Impact & Insight: Philanthropy heals

Last updated on July 7th, 2019 at 02:44 pm

Philanthropy-304427672-Shutterstock.jpgPhilanthropy is a balm in our “win at all costs” world. As political candidates duke it out, sports teams fight for championships and businessmen out-bid each other, it’s easy to forget there is another way. It’s what the Rev. Dr. Brad Braxton used to call a “both and”—a win/win.

Research shows that giving is a win for both the donor and the recipient. In fact, a 2008 Harvard Business School study, Feeling Good about Giving, reminds us, “Social scientists have identified a host of ways charitable behavior can lead to benefits for the giver…including economic, social and psychological [experiences of] well-being.” The study demonstrates, “…happier people give more, that giving indeed causes increased happiness.”

People have most likely enjoyed the benefits of giving since the beginning of time.
Our own country is deeply rooted in philanthropy. Even in our earliest settlement, Jamestown, Captain John Smith preached about helping each other. The Hudson Bay Company poured dollars into our young country’s development. College scholarships came from wealthy community members who wanted to educate poor farm boys—for the betterment of the entire community.

Universities, sports venues, parks, museums and theatre would not be part of the tapestry of our city if it weren’t for the generosity of philanthropy. From large to small donations, giving for the greater good has truly been a win for everyone involved.

Join the community in a win/win. Help us celebrate philanthropy at the Association of Fundraising Professionals of Southeastern Wisconsin’s National Philanthropy Day Luncheon on Monday, Nov. 9. The event offers everyone a chance to pause and do a “both and.”

Through the “Giving It Forward” pledge, event participants will engage in philanthropy as part of the celebration. Each table will determine a charity to receive a starter gift and have the opportunity to add to that initial gift—practicing the win/win of philanthropy.

It’s a great reminder that there is another way. A way to experience that philanthropy can be a balm that allows all of us to win and feel happier.

Peter Zehren is vice president of communications for the AFP SEWI and chief development officer at the Alma Center, Inc.

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