Loosen the pursestrings, Anne Roosevelt says

By Maggie Probert

Yesterday I attended the annual Philanthropy Day awards luncheon sponsored by the St. Louis Chapter of the Association for Fundraising Professionals. AFP has been promoting National Philanthropy Day for years to recognize and encourage charitable giving and donors.

The keynote speaker for the luncheon was Anna Eleanor Roosevelt, granddaughter of President Franklin Roosevelt. She is currently Vice President for Global Corporate Citizenship for the Boeing Company. Isn’t it ironic that here we are in the worst financial crisis since Roosevelt was president and at the same time his granddaughter is leading one of the largest corporate foundations in the country? Not only that, but she was encouraging donors to give more at this time, not less.

She cited an interesting statistic. According to the Center for Philanthropy, Americans donated $295 BILLION last year. That’s almost half of the $700 billion bailout package!

Today there’s yet more evidence that Americans continue to be generous even in the midst of this financial crisis. This story from MSNBC reaffirms that even in the hard times, Americans continue to be the most generous people on earth.

In the spirit of National Philanthropy Day it’s important to honor the profound effect philanthropy has on our society and how it enhances our lives, communities and the nation.