Last month, I had the opportunity to attend a large international conference for fundraisers, and a young woman in a session made a comment about philanthropists being a word that should only be used with large, transformational gifts (lingo fundraisers and nonprofits use regarding seven and eight figure plus gifts). I vehemently disagreed with the statement. Philanthropy is defined as the desire to promote the welfare of others, expressed especially by the generous donation of money to good causes (Oxford Dictionaries). And to me, any donor who gives at any level is a philanthropist.
When someone decides to make a gift to a nonprofit organization it means they are making a personal decision of how much to give, where the money should go, how it will be used and will it make a difference. For any individual depending on their own capacity to give, they are making an intentional decision to give up something when they make a charitable donation.
However, in the nonprofit community it is common for donors to mention how a gift of a “smaller size” may not make such a large impact. On the contrary, every gift counts and every gift combined with others is what truly makes an impact in the community. At Joslyn Art Museum, we try our hardest to ensure that every donor (regardless of gift size) receives the gratitude and appreciation in exchange for their gift – because a gift really is transformational at any size.
As we enter May, Joslyn Art Museum and the Omaha nonprofit community are preparing for Omaha Gives! on May 20. This is a day sponsored by the Omaha Community Foundation to celebrate community wide giving and aimed at smaller giving – specifically gifts of $10 or more. This year, Joslyn has secured additional matching dollars thanks to generous donors to match every gift we receive through Omaha Gives! 1:1. So every $10 gift becomes $20 and helps the Museum. In addition, each and every gift received helps the Museum qualify for additional bonus dollars through the Omaha Gives! program.
We hope you will remember Joslyn on May 20 and support us through your own personal gift. A gift of any size is so very much appreciated. A $10 gift will help us provide art supplies for one child participating in a KickstART Saturday program, a free event with hands-on activities and performances open to the entire community on six Saturday mornings throughout the year. And 12 gifts of $10 with our generous 1:1 match provides the Museum with enough funds to sponsor transportation and a free art activity for 50 students locally to visit Joslyn and participate in a gallery tour.
So, follow us on Facebook or Twitter and join in the fun on May 20 to help support Joslyn’s work (and help us reach our goal!). I invite you to also stop by the Sculpture Garden between 7:30 -9:00 am for a grab/go breakfast and some morning comradery to celebrate a day of giving.
Director of Development