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Every day is National Philanthropy Day

 
 

I like to think every day is National Philanthropy Day…

and I’d hazard a guess that Douglas Freeman feels the same. Honestly, I don’t know if many people outside of the non-profit and fundraising world know the story of Douglas Freeman.

photo of Douglas Freeman, creator of National Philanthropy Day

Douglas Freeman, creator of National Philanthropy Day

Douglas Freeman is the reason there is a National Philanthropy Day…a day designed to recognize and thank people and businesses who give of themselves to make the world a better place.

A tax lawyer in Orange County, California in the 1980’s, Mr. Freeman’s client list included individuals and families with substantial financial resources, as well as non-profits and foundations. His daily professional advice always included a strong focus on philanthropy, as did his personal philosophy. Mr. Freeman keenly understood the difference his clients’ generosity made in the world around him.

To make a somewhat long story short, Mr. Freeman was successful in his efforts to have philanthropy recognized on a national level. Because of Mr. Freeman’s passion and dedication to honoring donors and volunteers, President Ronald Reagan signed an official proclamation in 1986 declaring November 15 National Philanthropy Day, which is now celebrated throughout the United States, Canada, and Mexico—and often times, for the entire week.

Most years, there are celebrations across the United States to recognize the day. The events take a variety of forms, but the intent is the same for all…to thank and honor donors, big and small.

When the Miller-Dwan Foundation planned their activities for 2020, we were going to launch a casual event to thank and recognize all of you who have fueled our efforts to change healthcare for the better in our region. It goes without saying this year has not turned out as planned…for any of us really, so in good conscious we could not gather you, our friends and partners, to celebrate your many wonderful gifts.

Please know that I, and everyone involved with the Miller-Dwan Foundation, are thinking about you this week and wishing we could thank you in person. But we want you to know we think about you and are grateful for your generosity every day and week of the year. You all have made an incredible difference in people’s lives.