Transformation Through Virtous Philanthropy

Mission: To inspire generations to abundantly fulfill their wealth legacy.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Characteristics of Virtuous Philanthropists, Week 1

In researching for "Women, Wealth & Giving" with my co-author, Niki Nicastro McCuistion, we have found that women, who knowingly choose the path to make a difference in their own unique style through their giving of time, talent and treasure, consistently identify five character traits that guide them on the way to their authentic social and personal legacy.

In the next five weeks, I'll explain these character traits right here in this blog.

Practicing Inconspicuous Consumption

Each day they tell others - by their actions, spoken or not - what their priorities are. Their lifestyles reflect the values they believe are important to support with their resources. Many have found that collaborating with others through inconspicuous consumption and working to meet community needs has brought profound harmony to their life and has elevated their wealth of self.

Abused and neglected children had virtually nowhere to go in Martin County, Fla. 20 years ago. But in 1985, LaVaughn Tilton-Drysdale, using the principles of collaboration and inconspicuous consumption with the help of a few caring people who know a few more caring people, changed all that.

The idea originally came to Tilton-Drysdale while she was watching a training video in order to work with parents suspected of child abuse and neglect. "Immediately my interest turned to the children," she said. "What happens to one of these children if their home is unsafe for living?"

She managed to rally the community to the idea, raising money and in-kind donations from builders and landowners. In 1989, Hibiscus House, a safe place to send children removed from their homes, opened its doors. Today it has expanded to a multimillion dollar 36-bed facility.

When asked about her leadership role, Tilton-Drysdale says, "I may have made the decision that something needed to be done, but I didn't do it alone, the community did it."

For more, read "Women, Wealth & Giving: The Virtous Legacy of the Boom Generation" by Margaret May Damen and Niki Nicastro McCuistion.

Monday, October 18, 2010

The Bridge

As Director of Planned Giving for the United Way of Martin County Foundation, I recently addressed more than 40 of our affiliated agencies during a meeting to kick off our annual campaign.

Instead of giving the history of the Foundation, I read a poem. I believe literature and poetry helps to tell stories, connecting the head and heart. I read the following poem, The Bridge, by Will Allen Dromgoole, because it helps explain who we are, what we do and our vision for the future.

Today, I share this poem with you. It helps to explain the importance of giving of ourselves, be it time, talent or treasure, to help build a brighter future for others.

The Bridge
Will Allen Dromgoole

An old man going a long, high way,
Came, at the evening cold and gray.
To a chasm vast and wide and steep,
With water rolling cold and deep.
The old man crossed in the twilight dim,
The sullen stream had no fears for him,
But he turned, when safe on the other side,
And built a bridge to span the tide.
“Old man,” said a fellow pilgrim near,
“You are wasting your strength with building here,
Your journey will end with the ending day,
You never again will pass this way,
You’ve crossed the chasm deep and wide,
Why build you this bridge at eventide?”
The builder lifted his old gray head,
“Good friend, in the path I have come,” he said,
“There followeth after me today,
A youth whose feet must pass this way.
The chasm that was as naught to me,
To that fair-haired youth may a pitfall be,
He, too, must cross in twilight dim,
Good friend, I am building this bridge for him.”

Friday, October 15, 2010

Sharing some moments, faces and places

If you haven't already, please visit my photo gallery on Flickr. Lots of photos from recent speaking engagements and book signings.

Here is one of my favorites:
Author and Today Show money coach Jean Chatzky, (that's me in red) and author of “Raising Charitable Children,” Carol Weisman, at the Philadelphia Community Foundation Inaugural Women and Philanthropy Symposium hosted by Heather Gee, Foundation Officer.