If Ever There was a Year to Celebrate Philanthropy…

For National Philanthropy Day 2020, the stakes are a little higher

Hands holding wrists to form a circle around county map of southeastern WisconsinAlmost by definition, communities unify people for collaborative action and shared benefit. That’s why 2020 will be remembered as a year when the unifying powers of community were put to severe test.

Throughout 2020 our community has reeled from deep disruptions. One was unprecedented -- the COVID-19 pandemic. Another was all-too-precedented – the lingering effects of systemic racism and social inequity.

These challenging issues (not to mention a contentious election just weeks away) make it more important than ever to celebrate and energize the forces that unify and restore communities. Prominent among these forces: philanthropy – grassroots generosity in service to humankind.

Across the country, National Philanthropy Day recognizes philanthropy’s crucial role in our communities. On this day for the past 41 years, our area chapter of the Association of Fundraising Professionals (AFP) has honored philanthropists and fundraisers who further nonprofit causes across Southeastern Wisconsin. 

On this year’s National Philanthropy Day, Tuesday, November 10th, AFP will host an important conversation on “Philanthropy’s Role in Advancing Racial Equity in our Community,” featuring top area philanthropic and nonprofit leaders. The panel will explore ways the philanthropic sector is approaching equity and inclusion, and the challenges and needs of nonprofits working in communities of color. Confirmed speakers include Ellen Gilligan, CEO, Greater Milwaukee Foundation,  Tony Shields, President and CEO Wisconsin Philanthropy Network,  Joe’Mar Hooper, Executive Director, Safe & Sound, with others invited.

Additionally, we will highlight the impact of local philanthropists over the last decade through social media in the months of October and November. Past winners of AFP’s philanthropy awards will be featured through video and narrative content on LinkedIn and other channels, to raise awareness of the important role they play in building robust, vibrant communities where all can prosper. Please stay connected to AFP on LinkedIn for updates on how you can participate and share this important campaign.

When circumstances divide us, it’s too easy to lose sight of what unites us.  Together, let’s commit to change that on November 10.

Please watch for National Philanthropy Day details coming soon in your email box and at afpsewi.org.

National Philanthropy Day logo

On Philanthropy appears monthly in the Milwaukee Business Journal for the Association of Fundraising Professionals, Southeastern Wisconsin Chapter.  This month’s column is contributed by Dawn Hutchison-Weiss.