Living in Denver, I love rooting for the Broncos. The team has an incredible quarterback in Peyton Manning, but the truth is that the Broncos are loved because they play, succeed, and fail due to the strength of the team, not due to the strength of any one individual.
The same can be said for great giving: It’s teams, not individuals, that make real progress in the world of philanthropy.
We know and live this truth at the Morgridge Family Foundation. As many gifts as my husband John and I have given over the years, I can’t think of a single project where we donated the entire cost. Except in rare cases, I don’t believe in being a single-source donor. It’s another reason why I champion the cause of getting people to give any size gift, and a reason why I truly believe that every gift matters. The more people we have putting energy, time, and money behind their passions, the more momentum and success the causes we believe in will have.
- Responsibility Grows Exponentially: When we share the responsibility, we also share in the joy and satisfaction of reaching the goal. Your gift and mine, together with many others, can work miracles.
- Passion Goes the Extra Mile: Inspired givers share a passion for their cause and a willingness to work with others. They also share an attitude of optimism, persistence, and hope for the future. That makes it more likely anyone on the team will go the extra mile when needed.
- Mistakes are Shared: As careful as I am in researching my gifts, I’ve made some big mistakes. I’ve misread people, been blindsided by non-profits that weren’t what they seemed, and cried over lost resources, wasted time, and squandered opportunities. The truth is, if you reach out to help others, you will make mistakes. But that’s part of the process. As in life, if an opportunity doesn’t work out, pivot and try again. Admit your mistakes, learn from them, and go on. And when you are working as part of a team, the blow from the mistake and the learning are both shared, making it easier to be stronger, wiser, and more grateful for success down the line.
- Attitude Checks & Balances: Whatever resources and abilities you’re born with, whatever the world throws your way, attitude is the one variable you can control. I found attitude to be the underlying key to the success of our foundation and to the grantees we invest in. And time and time again, when I see a positive attitude in the people I work with, it seems to multiply. At the same time, when there is a negative mood seeping in, being part of a team means that we can call each other oout Those who have a can-do attitude end up being our favorite grantees. Whatever obstacles they face, they figure out a way to get around them and move forward.
Like what you hear? Pick up a copy of Every Gift Matters: How Your Passion Can Change the World, now available at Amazon.