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Happy Philanthropy Day!

November 13, 2009

Happy Philanthropy Day!  Falling on Sunday this year, November 15th is celebrated annually as National Philanthropy Day, a chance for charities and donors to come together and focus on giving. Here’s an excerpt from the official website, put together by the Association of Fundraising Professionals:

National Philanthropy Day®, November 15, is the special day set aside to recognize and pay tribute to the great contributions that philanthropy—and those people active in the philanthropic community—have made to our lives, our communities and our world. This year marks the 24th anniversary of this special day.

Why do we celebrate philanthropy? Consider the impact of the charitable sector and the increasing role it plays in our societies and countries around the world. Billions of dollars given every year. Millions of programs and services. Connecting individuals to causes, and to each other. Fostering civic participation. Improving the quality of life for all people.

In the United States alone, there are more than 1 million charitable organizations, and Americans give more than $300 billion annually to charitable causes (Giving USA Foundation). In Canada, more than 88,000 charities provide countless services to millions of Canadians, who in turn contribute more than $10 billion annually to those organizations (Canada Revenue Agency). In Latin America and Asia, with governments no longer able to provide enough funding for social services, charitable sectors are growing rapidly and creating programs to meet the needs of their countries’ citizens. The quality of life for all people—everything from education, healthcare, the environment and the arts, to name only a few—would be far less if not for these organizations.

I opened my Globe and Mail today to find a special section on philanthropy, with some great articles on nonprofit boards and tax proposals for charitable giving in Canada.  And the New York Times’ special section on Giving came out yesterday.

Let us know what you’ll be doing for National Philanthropy Day!

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