Many in our generous community care deeply about racial equity, but we haven’t necessarily examined the relationship between philanthropy and race. This collection of resources from The Bridgespan Group can help jumpstart our learning in this area.
On Our Minds
“Prayer itself is an act of giving that can change the condition of your heart toward others.” We agree and recommend this one-minute read from Sheila Dolinger and the National Christian Foundation.
In honor of Mother’s Day this weekend, we honor all women who give generously. Learn more about women’s giving behavior in this article, in which perhaps the most eye-opening sentence is, “British author J.K. Rowling reportedly dropped off the Forbes list of billionaires because she gave so much money away through the Volant Charitable Trust.”
What did you do today that you’re proud of? Is there anyone you need to apologize to? What do you hope for tomorrow? Those three questions are what Dr. Lakshmi Halasyamani, Chief Medical Officer of NorthShore University Health System and speaker at TEDxWilmette last week, asks herself each night before she goes to bed. Many Christians ask a similar set of questions using the Ignatian Daily Examen: Where did I see God today?, What am I thankful for today? What did I feel today?, What should I pray for?, and How do I feel about tomorrow? No matter which questions you use to reflect upon each day, the practices of reflection and gratitude nurture the generous life.
Adam Grant’s book Give and Take discusses givers (and takers) in the workplace. Givers do things like mentor, share networks, and promote others’ ideas. His research supports social contagion theory, including this finding, “When the groups included one consistent giver, the other members contributed more. The presence of a single giver was enough to establish a norm of giving.” Where might you establish a norm of giving today?
By now you know that we are a bit wonky about social science research. The World Happiness Report is the latest to catch our attention. This Washington Post article summarizes the findings, including this one: “Helping others can take you outside of yourself and help you, too: The global “happiness effects” of generosity increased last year, the report found, and making a donation correlated with higher life satisfaction and positive affect. That finding tracks with a number of studies that testify to the well-being boosts of acts of kindness and volunteering.”
All of us are philanthropists, whether we are giving our time, money, skills, or influence away to change the world for the better. Ami has been part of a World Vision midwest women’s group for the past year, and the women in the group recently wrote philanthropic mission statements. Ami’s is to liberate the greatness of women and girls, through inspiration, education, and economic empowerment. What’s yours? Maybe start by filling in the blanks: My mission is to ______ by doing ______ for _______.
Read the final installment in Laura’s series of devotionals on fear for Red Letter Christians.
Read the fourth in Laura’s series of devotionals on fear for Red Letter Christians.