My Experiment in Philanthropy. #GivingTuesday
Today is Giving Tuesday.
On December 1, 2020 we'll unite for a worldwide celebration of generosity.
People around the globe will come together in unity and showing kindness and generosity in all its forms by giving their voice, time, money, goods, and advocacy to support communities and causes.
Philanthropy is defined as:
Altruistic concern for human welfare and advancement, usually manifested by donations of money, property, or work to needy persons, by endowment of institutions of learning and hospitals, and by generosity to other socially useful purposes.
Concern for Humanity.
With an understanding that you are Humanity as well.
Generosity and charitable giving was on a rising trend in 2019. According to the Giving USA 2020: The Annual Report on Philanthropy for the Year 2019, American individuals, bequests, foundations and corporations gave an estimated $449.64 billion to U.S. charities in 2019, placing it among the highest years ever for charitable giving. However, giving as a percentage of income has been stagnant for nearly 50 years, hovering around 2% since 1970.
I haven’t seen the data on 2020 yet, I’m sure it will interesting.
At the same time, philanthropy, and non-profit organizations are under siege. There is growing criticism and collective resentment towards billionaires and “the elite” and a lack of trust in those in power that raises questions and creates conspiracy theories, where philanthropists such as Bill Gates are believed to be James Bond supervillains.
Not everyone holds these beliefs, but the signal has definitely increased in recent years.
I’ve been exploring the edges of the non-profit and social enterprise world since the tail-end of my corporate days. I’ve seen lots of problems in the space… hypocrisy and delusion, perhaps including my own. The cynical side of me looks at #GivingTuesday and sees it as a social signalling hashtag to wash away the guilt from the gluttony of #Thanksgiving, the greed of #BlackFriday. and the FOMO of #CyberMonday.
There is an ancient tradition of giving First Fruits as an offering. It’s all over the Bible.
Tithing, the idea of giving 10% of your money one receives away for a spiritual cause resonates with the idea that the energy we put out into the universe comes back to us in some way. Karma, Ayni, and the First Law of Thermodynamics all have a certain interpretation that fits this frame.
There are 25 days until Christmas.
Day 1: Wikipedia #GivingChristmas