Summer is upon us, and it just seems to make us smile. The weather is perfect, kids are out of school, folks are checking out books for their vacations, patrons are signing up for our summer reading programs, and baby quail are following their mother around the Library, keeping us all entertained. It’s a time that feels good.
Also at the Library, it’s a new fiscal year. So in addition to thinking about what I’ll read this summer, where I’ll hike, and when I can get to my favorite swimming hole, I’m thinking about philanthropy. I’m particularly pleased to say that the Library had a successful FY ‘19, and we are grateful to all of our supporters. Thank you!
In the bigger picture of philanthropy across the country, I’m proud to share that Americans are some of the most generous people in the world. The U.S. has been at the top of charitable countries for many years. As a nation we simply take care of each other, and that feels good.
When you think of philanthropy, the names Bill and Melinda Gates, Warren Buffet, or other headline-making philanthropists might come to mind. But did you know that, in large part, it is people like you who bolster our national reputation of generosity?
It’s true, and according to the Philanthropy Roundtable, individual donations make up more than 73 percent of the nation’s charitable giving. It is even more compelling that the largest percentage of individual gifts is donated by those with the smallest incomes.
More than seven percent of households making below $25,000 contribute to charitable organizations, and while their gifts may be smaller in size, they are not much smaller considering their income. Gifts from the lower incomes average over $1,000 annually compared to $4,000 annually from higher income households (over $100,000). Charitable Americans support five to ten nonprofits each year, and the median household gives, on average, $2,200 a year.
Most noteworthy of all is that Americans are not simply altruistic. According to the New York Times, we give because it makes us feel better. So, not only are we kind to each other, but we are also kind to self. And as a citizen, a donor, and a fundraiser, this makes me feel hopeful and confident.
Everything we do at Sedona Public Library—our services, programs, facilities, collection, etc.—is to make you feel good. Or perhaps better said, what we do is designed to help you know more, connect easily, care broadly, understand clearly, speak confidently, relate genuinely, laugh wholeheartedly, and think deeply. Or, like I said, to feel good.
Thus, "what comes around goes around" seems pretty red rock solid. The Library works to engage and enrich the community, the community is grateful and supports us, which makes donors feel good, and makes us feel good, which makes us work harder to engage and enrich the community . . . you get the picture. That’s philanthropy. It just makes you feel good.
Please visit sedonalibrary.org to learn about all that we do to make you feel good, and how you can give online, so you can feel even better. Thanks, and have a great summer!
Sedona Public Library
Column for June 14, 2019
Written by Anne Marie Mackler, Development Director
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Library News appears each Friday in the Red Rock News.