Transformation Through Virtous Philanthropy

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

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Philanthropy: Big, Bold and Beautiful Giving

Big, Bold and Beautiful: the three new B's in philanthropy
“To give away money is an easy matter and in anyone’s power. 
But to decide whom to give it and how large and when, and for what purpose and how, is neither in every person’s power- nor an easy matter.
Hence it is that such excellence is rare, praiseworthy and noble.” 
– Aristotle 

“Big, Bold, Beautiful” are the three new B’s in philanthropy. And one can participate in many ways. The rich and famous, such as Paul Allen, Bill and Melinda Gates, Warren Buffet and David Rockefeller (and the rich and soon-to-be famous for their generosity) are getting on board through “The Giving Pledge.” It’s a moral commitment to give the majority of their wealth to the philanthropic causes and charitable organizations of their choice during their lifetime or after their death. To date, more than 68 billionaires have taken the pledge to give the majority of their wealth to philanthropy. Such a statement is bold in concept and will be even bolder in execution.

In June, The Chronicle of Philanthropy ran a story by Maria Di Mento announcing that more than 60 of the nation’s largest foundations, including Robert Wood Johnson, General Mills and the Wallace Foundation, have signed “Philanthropy’s Promise” a pledge sponsored by the National Committee for Responsible Philanthropy to channel a majority of their grant money to needy people as well as advocacy efforts to encourage citizens to get involved in their communities. Coming to a meeting of the minds among large foundations will be a big win for such under-served communities such as women and girls and economically disadvantaged minority groups.

So what about Beautiful? Last year, I met an extraordinary individual, Jason Franklin. We were both in Philadelphia to participate in Tracy Gary’s Inspired Legacies workshop. We both were celebrating milestones in our lives. John Wiley and Sons, New York had recently published my book, Women, Wealth and Giving: The Virtuous Legacy of the Boom Generation that I co-authored with Niki Nicastro McCuistion and Jason had just been appointed as the executive director of Bolder Giving. In addition to deep discussion at the workshop, we all took time out to follow Jason and practice our singing – and as you can hear on the video, we all decided to keep our day jobs!

At the Inspired Legacies workshop, Jason announced that Bolder Giving had received a challenge grant from the Gates Foundation (BIG!). A year later, this July 14, Jason announced Bolder Giving met and exceeded the challenge and Bolder Giving took a “huge leap forward toward our dream of transforming the culture of philanthropy.” Bolder Giving does this by developing partnerships to share the message of giving to millions of people (ordinary citizens with perhaps more to give in time and talent than treasure, but willing to stretch their treasure in a bolder way.) How beautiful is this!?!

It seems to me there is a convergence of “Big, Bold and Beautiful” happening in philanthropy and the time is right for societal giving of time, talent and treasure (see Kelly Beard’s blog post, below) to excel in excellence so that rare, praiseworthy and noble philanthropy is a way of life for everybody.

Read more about how you can be a "Big, Bold and Beautiful" philanthropist in "Women, Wealth and Giving: The Virtuous Legacy of the Boom Generation," or visit www.margaret-may.com.

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