National Philanthropy is November 15, 2020.

Happy National Philanthropy Day!

“It is at times like this that we understand the full measure of the sacredness and impact of the work we do every day.”Adriene Iverson, President & CEO, Elder Care Alliance

On November 15, each year, Americans celebrate the charitable work so many do to make a difference and impact our communities. A little idea that began in 1986 in Orange County, California, has grown into a global celebration of giving. National Philanthropy Day recognizes the essential relationship between individuals’ generosity, communities, and honors our for-profit and nonprofit partnerships.

What exactly is “philanthropy”? According to Merriam-Webster, philanthropy definition is an act or gift done or made for humanitarian purposes. Many people give in small and even large ways every day, without considering it “charity.” When you drop a dollar in the box at the grocery checkout counter, you are acting as a philanthropist. When you buy Girl Scout Cookies, you are leading with a philanthropist’s heart (with a bit of deliciousness added for good measure). When you include a cherished nonprofit as a beneficiary in your will or life insurance policy, you are making the gift of a lifetime and are a bonafide philanthropist.

There are many ways to give, and ‘time, talent, and treasure’ are but a few.  Volunteers give of their time, a precious commodity, and something therefore beyond value. To find an example of generosity, one needs to look no further than the hundreds of volunteers who provide critical support to our Mercy Brown Bag Program, helping feed thousands of Alameda County residents.

Each member of our Elder Care Alliance board of directors contributes to the value of their collective expertise to support our ECA vision of Engaging hearts, Transforming lives, and Erasing boundaries. We couldn’t do this sacred work without them, and we are grateful for their leadership.

When we think of philanthropy, most of us think of charitable donations. Donations help provide essential support for programs and services in our nonprofit Elder Care Alliance communities! Each gift we receive added to others contributes to a visionary and nurturing environment for our treasured elders.

Philanthropy is a big part of our culture today, but its roots are in ancient Greece, where philanthropy was considered a virtue. The name itself meant ‘the love of humanity.’

As we enter into the holiday season, also called the ‘season of giving,’ many give from a sense of gratitude. We give because we can, and we are grateful to be able to share our bounty. American automobile pioneer, Henry Ford, was a famous philanthropist in his day. After he built his empire, Ford established the Ford Foundation to give back some of the blessings life had given him. His foundation was then, and remains today, one of the world’s largest foundations, impacting lives for the better.

It is true none of us will live forever, but the generosity of our giving will live on and on as our legacy. Elder Care Alliance has several opportunities for gift giving.

  • www.givingeca.org/ – contribute to our COVID-19 Assistance Fund, set up a Legacy Gift, or learn more about the other ways you can contribute to our work at Elder Care Alliance.
  • www.mercyretirementcenter.org/donate – learn more about how you can support our Mercy Retirement & Care Center community, including our Capital Campaign for our Mercy Revitalization Project.
  • www.mercybrownbag.org/donate/ – your donation can help feed the thousands of Alameda County seniors who are in need.

Thank you for your generosity and for being part of our Elder Care Alliance community.

Guest Blog by Director of Philanthropy, Cynthia Gregory