In 1986, United States President Ronald Reagan designated November 15 as National Philanthropy Day, a day which celebrates giving, volunteering, and charitable works, and the impact that philanthropy makes on our society. National Philanthropy Day celebrates philanthropy, which etymologically translates to “love of humanity,” each November 15 in an effort to turn the word into action and to recognize the change that word has brought to our local and global communities.
National Philanthropy Day is now overseen by the Association of Fundraising Professionals, who entreat people to follow the five Ps of giving in order to make the most impact:
- Passionate. With literally thousands of charities and causes from which to choose, it is critical to support a select few about which you are passionate. The more passionate you are about a cause, the more likely you are to fully invest in it, including not just money, but time.
- Proactive. Once you’ve determined which type of cause you would like to support, proactively find a charity dedicated to the cause.
- Prepare. Do your research. Not all charities are created equal, and you want to be sure that the charity you are supporting is fiscally responsible and well managed. Both Charity Navigator and Charity Watch are excellent resources for investigating all aspects of charity ratings.
- Plan. Create a plan of giving action so that you hold yourself to a certain dollar and time amount. Charities typically receive most of their donations in the last quarter of the year, while struggling in the spring and summer. Find out what makes the most sense for the charity you have chosen to support and put a specific plan in place — and stick to it.
- Powerful. Now that you are ready and committed to give, ensure that your donation is powerful; meaning give the most you can, in both time and money.
At Tata & Howard, we are passionate about improving the environment in which we live through our work — and works. As a corporation, we have followed the five Ps of giving and have partnered with select charities in an effort to support them fully. Water For People has been Tata & Howard’s charity of choice since 2005, with employee-owners donating directly from their paychecks and the company matching 100% of every dollar donated. In addition, Tata & Howard sponsors the CTAWWA Water for People Golf Tournament in the fall. Water For People strives to provide safe, sustainable drinking water for everyone, forever. According to Water for People, they exist for one purpose, and it’s as simple as their name: they want all people to have safe, continuous water, and when they do, their job will be done.
This past year, Tata & Howard selected another key charity to support after learning of the plight of the Navajo on American soil. This year, Tata & Howard donated $2,235 to Navajo Water Project, a subsidiary of DIGDEEP that works to provide safe, accessible drinking water to Native Americans living in Navajo Nation. While there are dozens of water charities supporting developing countries, Navajo Water Project is the only water charity that serves people living in the United States.
Each Thanksgiving season, Tata & Howard employee-owners participate in a food drive for the Worcester County Food Bank (WCFB). WCFB is central Massachusetts’ leading anti-hunger organization distributing over five million pounds of donated food and grocery product in partnership with food donors, financial supporters, and volunteers. This year, Tata & Howard employee-owners collected and donated over 400 pounds of food for WCFB during the month of October.
Every December, Tata & Howard partners with Dare Family Services to provide personalized gifts to disadvantaged children. Employee-owners choose wish ornaments from a giving tree and purchase the gifts for which the children ask. All unclaimed wishes are purchased by Tata & Howard’s Philanthropy Committee — a robust, in-house committee that raises and distributes funds to charities — ensuring that every child receives his or her requested gifts. Dare Family Services’ primary mission is to find, train, and support loving homes that will help children become resilient and overcome the trauma of serious abuse and neglect. Every child is given a life, education, and a road to normal adulthood.
In addition to Tata & Howard’s partner charities, employee-owners support their own chosen charities, often with support from the company’s Philanthropy Committee. Employee-owners have supported such worthy causes as Special Olympics of Massachusetts (SOMA), Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Camp Sunshine, and Livestrong. And Tata & Howard employee-owners don’t just write checks — they also donate significant amounts of time, like coaching SOMA, running for the Jimmy Fund, competing in the Tough Mudder Challenge to support Wounded Warrior Project, riding in the PanMass Challenge, training dogs for NEADS/Dogs for Deaf, and skiing for hear ME now.
National Philanthropy Day is a grassroots movement to increase public awareness of the importance of philanthropy, and to provide information on giving and volunteering so that people can practice efficient philanthropy. It is also the ideal day to reassess charitable giving, from both a corporate and individual level. As John Rockefeller stated, “Think of giving not only as a duty but as a privilege.” At Tata & Howard, we feel truly privileged to be able to support our corporate and individual causes, and believe that each and every act of charity has significant impact that helps to make the world a better place. Happy National Philanthropy Day!