My friend Nanci came out as a philanthropist the other day. We were talking about how she had manifested a miracle for a friend in need. In our conversation I shared with her that philanthropy is really the love of humankind and it manifests when you express this. She was surprised to learn that philanthropy is not just a place for folks with lots of money who write checks to charity. We talked about using one’s time, talent, and treasure to lift people up and that this was the true essence of philanthropy.
So Nanci’s friend was in need. Dealing with cancer she needed a shower seat to support her low energy and fragile body while bathing. After being told she was too young to get one from the senior center, she called Nanci in tears and at the end of her rope. Nanci assured her it would all work out and that there was a solution and she would help. While they were on the phone Nanci was en route to a Chamber of Commerce event driving through the rain when she saw an object on the side of the road. Amazingly, it was a shower seat.
Nanci proceeded to pull out her phone to show me the photo she took of her bike rack holding this shower seat. She was in awe of the power of the moment and the gift the universe gave to her friend. We talked more about what she does for work (Nanci is a massage therapist), and how she is often holding the space for philanthropy – the love of humankind.
I often share in fundraising seminars about how I ask people to ‘come out’ about being a philanthropist. When you have a story and a name of someone who has made a tremendous donation that often will inspire others to step up and give. I would mean it in a genuine way as a lesbian who has watched people come out in many settings. I personally understand the charged energy of what that means to some people.
I find it energizing to encourage people to move out of their comfort zone of whatever they identify as and truly own new places in the world. Last month at a conference on Sport, Sexuality and Culture at Ithaca College I asked the mostly gay and lesbian audience to come out as social change leaders. So Nanci – thanks for coming out and we welcome you to the safe, loving space of philanthropy. We are honored you are on our team!