discussion on philanthropy

In light of the recent tornado and devastation in Oklahoma, I want to take a detour from our usual “Philanthropy, different definitions, same message” discussion. The foundation had the wonderful opportunity to host fundraising expert Kay Sprinkel Grace for a day of networking and workshops on May 1. In her morning session, she shared a model that showed philanthropy as a large circle and it is based in values. Development is within that circle and it uncovers shared values, and fundraising is within that, giving people opportunities to act on their values.

When a natural disaster hits, I think people many miles away, even across continents, are affected because here is a community of people who have had some pretty basic values taken from them – shelter, food, even the loss of family and friends. In Oklahoma parents are without children, families are missing loved ones, homes and schools have been decimated, beloved pets are displaced from their loving homes and families. We rally at times like these perhaps because we can’t fathom what it would be like to have what we value destroyed, or if we’ve been through a similar experience, we heartbreakingly empathize, but for whatever reason we look for ways to help. Fundraising and opportunities for support are a natural extension of this global grieving process because it allows us to act, to actively take part in helping to rebuild community.

The foundation received an email from community friend Mark Brewer, president and CEO of Community Foundation of Central Florida. He shared that those wishing to support recovery work in the Oklahoma City area can contribute to a fund at their fellow community foundation, the Oklahoma City Community Foundation.

Contributions to the Oklahoma City Tornado Recovery Fund can be made online at OCCF.ORG. Oklahoma City Community Foundation will use contributions to its Tornado Recovery Fund for the greatest needs of those impacted by the storms as well as schools and charities that are damaged. Their foundation has also encouraged contributions to the American Red Cross and the Salvation Army in its region for immediate shelter and emergency needs.

And a quick internet search brought up the Central Oklahoma Humane Society who is working with Oklahoma City and Moore to assist in efforts to receive, assess and shelter displaced and injured animals.

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