Every day millions of people give back, whether it is their time or treasure. I am one of those people. In fact, I pride myself on being out there doing everything I can to make the world we share a better place. One thing I’ve found that holds true is the every gift matters, no matter how big or small. It’s such a pillar of how giving works that it’s the name of my new book!
In this blog, I want to take you on my journey, sharing how I give, why I give and where I give. In return, I hope that you are inspired to share with me, why you give, where you give and teach me something about you. I love learning, and I find that giving, especially giving well, is a learning process. Just like anything in life there are successes and failures. I will be sharing both. When I look at the way I approach giving and making a difference, I see three levels, all of equal importance, and all making a difference in a unique way.
Institutional: I align what I do in my work with my passion—and I’m lucky to be able to do so. I currently serve as Vice President of the Morgridge Family Foundation which my husband John and I oversee. We focus on the foundation on transformative gifts in education, conservation, the arts, and health and wellness. The foundation has been instrumental in supporting major capital projects at the Denver Museum of Nature and Science, National Jewish Health, University of Central Florida, University of Denver, Mile High United Way, KIPP Schools, The Nature Conservancy, and Second Harvest Food Bank of Orlando, Florida.
Interpersonal: Relationships are at the heart of giving, and I work hard to keep relationships at the core of how I spend my time. I am a founder of the Student Support Foundation, a youth philanthropy club which cultivates philanthropists at the high school and college levels through hands-on learning. I was also an integral part of the team that created Share Fair Nation, a national program that has trained thousands of teachers on how to integrate technology in the classroom. Through that program, more than 300,000 hours of FREE high-quality professional development has been provided to teachers. These programs (and many more you’ll learn about in the stories I tell) are built on built on relationships and how the giving and the learning come full circle.
Internal: I work hard and I play hard—and without that kind of balance and the support of my friends and family, I couldn’t make the difference I make. I put in late nights reviewing grant applications, long weeks of travel for site visits and face-to-face meetings, and make the time to follow up with the people working as hard as I am. In between the work, my husband and I divide our time between Colorado and Florida, I am blessed to rejuvenate outdoors—whether that is a simple hike, a backcountry mountain bike ride, or training for one of the Ironman competitions and marathons I participate in. The point is, life is about connecting with that thing that drives us—our passions.
It’s what living is about, what giving is about, and what making a difference comes down to across the board.
Like what you hear? Pick up a copy of Every Gift Matters: How Your Passion Can Change the World, now available at Amazon.