A few days ago I was reading an editorial piece in the Chronicle of Philanthropy about the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. The author was criticizing the foundation for focusing their efforts on causes outside of the United States when there is so much need inside their home country. While I can admire the passion of the writer for a cause he champions, I was mostly focused on the idea that giving is such a personal choice. Every gift should be celebrated, and every donor appreciated.
Philanthropy is about ‘love of mankind’ and that love can be displayed and communicated in so many different ways. Contrast the message of the Chronicle article with Minnesota’s Give to the Max Day, which raised over $18,000,000 this week through an online version of a philanthropy marketplace. The vendors in this case are charities and nonprofits doing all kinds of good work, and they came together with the help and organization of GiveMN to help donors choose what they wanted to support.
The message behind Give to the Max Day is simply that you should give. Find something important to you and support it. It doesn’t matter who you donate to, how you give or how much you give -- just give until it feels good. The choice is yours, and I guarantee that you will be appreciated for it.