NAWRB Magazine Volume 11, Issue 1 Collaboration Breathes Success

Page 5

Access to Capital

Transformational Philanthropy:

Definition: A gift that has as profound an impact on the donor who makes it (and often their family) as it does on the organization receiving the gift. The beauty of truly Transformational Philanthropy is the pebble effect… A committed intentional philanthropist transforms themselves as the pebble hits the water. Concentric circles appear as the ripple hits family and friends when invited, the nonprofit organization, and finally, the individuals/communities who benefit from the pebble. Have you ever asked yourself if you are a donor or a philanthropist? A donor writes checks. A philanthropist (per Webster’s dictionary) makes an active effort to promote human welfare. Philanthropy takes the next step to giving more than money alone (whether it be time, talent, or other resources). It includes a synergy of financial and physical assistance for people or communities in need. It is in the “active” part that transformation begins.

Most people have someone in their life that impacted, mentored or changed their trajectory. Who was that for you? What would you try/change if you had no chance to fail? What was your first philanthropic experience? Who/what influenced you philanthropically? What would you like your legacy to be personally and for your family? As my husband and I reflected on these answers, our hearts remembered our time at the Y. We felt compelled to reconnect and make sure that other kids have the opportunity to go to camp. Now when we are helping the Y, I can’t explain it, but it feels important. It centered us on one of our core values - serving.

In my experience, self-reflection is the first step in Transformational Philanthropy. I found this clarity when I was invited to participate in a Guided Discovery conversation with my husband to help us write our Heritage Statement. We were asked a series of open-ended questions to help us reflect on the life experiences and relationships which created our core values. I didn’t just raise my hand and pick “integrity;” my life experiences formed my belief system.

Our pebble rippled to the Development Director who agreed to let us help. We offered to host a cocktail party at our home and invite some of our old camp friends. We asked the Y to send some staff over to update the group about needs at the Y and share how giving to the Heritage Club could make a sustainable long-term legacy for our group. The success of this event created a template that continues today.

My husband and I are very philanthropically involved. We have committed a large amount of our time to supporting organizations that are important to us. So it surprised us at the end of our interview when we realized that we had neglected the organization that impacted us the most in our youth. You see, we met at Camp Fox in 1979 when we were both camp counselors. The adults that formed our self-confidence, leadership skills, and love for children all worked, or volunteered at, the Anaheim YMCA. We looked at each other and said, “Why aren’t we supporting the Y?” This clarity came from some powerful questions like:

Finally our pebble is building strength at the Y in the Heritage Club. So far 6 new commitments have been made to the Heritage Club. The Y has a new group of committed supporters who may have been lost otherwise. Would you like to create a legacy for yourself and your family? Finding a trusted advisor to help you clarify your core values and create an enduring legacy is an investment of time, talent, and treasure.

This investment will help you clarify… Donor or Philanthropist?

Marty Dutch,

VP, Director of Philanthropy Services First Foundation Inc.


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