Monday, November 24, 2014


Today is National Philanthropy Day in New York. It will be marked by a big luncheon at the Plaza. Along with the metaphoric rubber chicken and gooey red sauce on the chocolate dessert, outstanding philanthropic leadership in the tri-state area will be recognized by AFP, the Association of Fundraising Professionals. NPD was proclaimed as November 15th each year by President Reagan to mark the extraordinary role of philanthropy and voluntarism in national life.  It has grown in acceptance over time and is now celebrated all around the country though not always on the 15th.

I generally try to avoid large events. But for NPD I up the Compazine and attend because in the one warm chamber of my heart I actually appreciate everything everyone does to make the world a better place, no matter how hard, how long, or how messy the process may be. Change is one person at a time and it adds up. The private nonprofit sector, according to a White House report, employs 14 million people, 10% of the work force; and generates some $1.6 trillion in output, 5% of GNP. Over $335 billion of that is philanthropic giving. Though I may question the accuracy of this datum I have read that 60 million Americans volunteer. Whatever the real number may be voluntary action in the US is assuredly mega-class.

Following the day after Thanksgiving is Black Friday and then Cyber Monday, two days a year when US consumerism is at its rabid worst. As you have seen we barely got through Halloween before the holiday hawking began. In the past people have died in the stampede to load up on “stuff.” Next week we will have Giving Tuesday, a one day push for an extra gift to whatever charities anyone might favor. I’ll write about it next week. Meanwhile you might visit

For now enjoy Thanksgiving.

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