Philanthropy is a matter of the heart.

It is manifested in actions that express thoughtfulness and behaviors that benefit people and increase the quality of life in our communities and society.

The friendships and relationships accruing from philanthropic engagement mean much more than just money. The traditional perception that only assets define the practice and power of philanthropy is a limited way of thinking.

People of many different backgrounds and incomes regularly practice philanthropy based on their particular interests and capacity. Sometimes, this can even mean making only small monetary contributions. For example: small monthly contributions ($20 or $25) to an endowed fund with the Derby Community Foundation can quickly increase the corpus of the fund which, in turn, increases the amount of the annual grant from the fund.

It takes the commitment and involvement of volunteers and benefactors to advance philanthropy. In addition to “doing good,” often lifelong relationships are made throughout the journey of supporting an important cause.

Creating a culture of philanthropy, which is the goal of the DCF, is the act of providing a space where these experiences can take root, blossom and flourish. As a result, the impact multiplies exponentially as more individuals are drawn into the work and add their unique gifts, talents and resources.

In thinking about the power of philanthropy in my life, I recognize that some of it resulted from my family upbringing. I was impacted by the examples I saw as my family contributed both monetarily and with volunteer hours to church, Boy and Girl Scouting, Knights of Columbus, Starkey, and other groups. In addition, it has been shaped significantly by my position as Executive Director of the DCF.

Through our combined efforts – nonprofits, fundraisers, volunteers and donors – the most basic needs of people are addressed and our community is improved.

Seeing the impact of these amazing outcomes on people and places has positively influenced me as well. The reality is, we all benefit when we share in the power of philanthropy and invite others to join us in the process. Consider this your open invitation to join in enriching the quality of life in the Derby area by contacting me or a member of the Derby Community Foundation Board of Directors.

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