Charitable Giving: A Good Time to Give Thanks for Philanthropy
Each year on Nov. 15, our country celebrates National Philanthropy Day, the occasion set aside to recognize and pay tribute to the great contributions that philanthropy — and those people active in the philanthropic community — have made to our lives, our communities and our world.
We celebrate National Philanthropy Day because of the extraordinary impact of the charitable sector and the increasing role it plays in our societies and countries around the world. Billions of dollars are given every year. Millions of programs and services help those in need.
Individuals are connected to causes and to each other. Civic participation and important societal bonds are created and strengthened through philanthropy as we work to improve the quality of life for all people.
In the United States alone, there are more than 1 million charitable organizations, and according to the Giving USA Foundation, Americans give more than $300 billion annually to charitable causes.
The quality of life for all people — everything from education, health care, the environment and the arts, to name only a few — would be far worse if not for the good work of these organizations and the generosity of those who fund them.
This year, the 25th anniversary of National Philanthropy Day, more than 125 communities and 50,000 people around the world participated in celebrations.
Honoring good work in Maryland
More than 1,000 people attended the National Philanthropy Day in Maryland celebration to honor individuals and organizations.
This year’s event, a program of the Maryland Philanthropy Network of Fundraising Professionals worldwide and the Maryland chapter of AFP in our region, paid tribute to the invaluable contributions that philanthropy has made in our communities.
I offer my congratulations to Mary Catherine Bunting on being named the 2010 Outstanding Philanthropist of the Year, for her lifetime of dedication to the underserved.
And congratulations to the three 2010 Maryland Business Philanthropy Award recipients: Constellation Energy-Large Employer; The Community Bank of Tri-County in Waldorf-Medium Employer; and The Murthy Law Firm-Small Employer. They were chosen by the Maryland Chamber of Commerce and the Baltimore Business Journal.
It was also inspiring to learn about the meaningful work of those honored as 2010 Unsung Heroes and Outstanding Youth Fundraisers.
It is particularly noteworthy that National Philanthropy Day falls so close to Thanksgiving. Both occasions offer us the opportunity to take a moment to reflect and give thanks to those who make a difference in our lives.
I wish you a happy and grateful Thanksgiving.
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