Let’s Celebrate the Winners and What They Stand For!

| by Bert Armstrong

Spoiler alert!  This is not euphoric piling on of post-election elation from a Trump supporter.  Nor is it post-mortem chatter about Clinton’s stunning popular vote victory.  There is plenty of both going around and I expect most folks are ready to think about something, maybe anything, besides politics for at least a few minutes, days, weeks or even months. 

I suggest we put all this campaign divisiveness behind us and focus some much-needed attention on a topic that can unite us and help us remember that good things can be accomplished when we come together in support of a common purpose.  That topic:  PHILANTHROPY! 

Simply put, philanthropy means joyful giving.  It means that when happily people share some portion of what they have been blessed to receive, we begin to see amazing good happen all around us. 

Generosity breeds more generosity.  When enough people come together around important causes, great things happen.  At Armstrong McGuire, we see this every day. 

  • We see a new cancer center being built in eastern North Carolina so that the individuals and their families who are fighting this horrific disease have a place close to home to receive the very best treatment and care from the very best doctors and medical teams. 
  • We see new, affordable houses being built and neighborhoods being revitalized and freed from the pain of crime, substance abuse, and poverty. 
  • We see men, women, and children being protected from the abuse of a spouse, parent or stranger.
  • We see new gathering places, job opportunities, and places to call home for adults living with disabilities. 
  • We see the expansion of services for those in our communities needing a hot, nutritious meal, a warm place to sleep, groceries for their family, or medical care for chronic ailments. 
  • We see congregations joining together in greater outreach and service while creating spaces for dynamic ministry to current members as well as those who have never experienced church. 
  • We see child and family service agencies making a deeper commitment to teenagers who are yearning for a forever home or who want to better themselves through job training programs and college education. 

And that’s just a little bit of what’s happening, with just a few of our clients.  Now magnify that by the outpouring of philanthropic support being shared with organizations where you volunteer.  Then multiply that by the hundreds of thousands of organizations across our nation whose missions attract small donations and major investments so that people in every rural community, in every large city, and every place in between find the help and hope they need, when they need it.  Whether its education, health care, the arts, the environment, food insecurity, youth programs, animal rights, faith-based ministries, or any other part of our nonprofit community, there are philanthropists big and small who are investing together in the good people, places and programs that continue to make our country great.  

On November 15th, thousands of people across the United States took a moment to celebrate an event sponsored by the Association of Fundraising Executives (AFP) called National Philanthropy Day.  These celebrations in communities big and small get a tiny fraction of the attention that our November 8th political election received.  That’s a shame! I believe that celebrating and promoting the concept of philanthropy is a great way to remind ourselves, our friends, our enemies, our neighbors, and our nation’s leaders that we have other ways than just our vote and our voice to make a difference.  We have our time, our talent and our treasure!

Congratulations to all the 2016 National Philanthropy Day award recipients who were honored at Association of Fundraising Professionals’ events across North Carolina this week.  Click here to see many of these deserving award winners honored by AFP Charlotte, AFP Triad, AFP Triangle, AFP Cape Fear, AFP Western NC.

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