In a world seemingly plagued by insecurity, brittleness, volatility, anger, negativity, and senselessness, being involved as a professional in the arena of gift-giving and philanthropy is something for which you should be grateful. Each day you work in advancement, you are affirming the remarkable goodness of humanity through generosity. Consider what we know from research:
- Giving makes people feel better about themselves and givers report more happiness in their lives than non-givers
- Giving binds communities together and makes them stronger
- People who give live longer
- Giving changes our bodies chemically so that we are better able to ward off disease and sickness
- Giving is contagious. Even by-standers who watch givers in action, reap many of the physical and psychological benefits listed above.
So, as we begin 2018, I hope you keep close the foundational virtues of our work. Yes, you have specific goals that need to be exceeded this year. Facilities will need building, programs will need funding, endowments will need to grow, and budgets will need to be met.
But never lose sight of the bigger, more compelling reality: You are involved in a honorable, particularly human work. A work that brings us all a full step closer to the very best versions of ourselves. A work that encourages us to deepen our faith and care for each other, despite all of the nay-saying and negativity. A work that blesses both the giver and recipient. And I, for one, am honored to be toiling alongside of each of you in that vineyard.