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National Philanthropy Day® Celebrations in Full Swing

November 17, 2009

National Philanthropy Day is now in full swing, with chapters hosting celebrations of all kinds throughout November.

On this, the 23rd anniversary of NPD, an estimated 50,000 people will gather to pay tribute to the extraordinary achievements that philanthropy and charitable organizations have made to the world.

More than 100 National Philanthropy Day® events, where local donors, volunteers, foundations, businesses and young people will be honored for outstanding charitable work, will be held across North America. A list of all National Philanthropy Day® events can be found on the official website:

Officially celebrated on Nov. 15 throughout the world, this year National Philanthropy Day was officially recognized by the federal government of Canada.

"It's so important that people continue to give and support charities because these organizations are on the front lines of service delivery and address the most pressing issues," said Andrea McManus, CFRE, chair-elect of AFP. "I'm excited that the Canadian government decided to officially recognize National Philanthropy Day, as it sends a strong message that giving and volunteering and important and should be encouraged. We encourage all Canadians to get involved in philanthropy."

New Orleans Pays Special Tribute

eWire spoke this week with the Greater New Orleans Chapter of AFP, whose members have witnessed a huge outpouring of philanthropic support in the community in the years following devastating gulf coast hurricanes of 2005.

Jenny Rodgers, co-chair of the AFP Greater New Orleans chapter NPD events this year, reports that their event, held on Nov. 5, was one of their most successful ever. They hosted 350 guests for a luncheon at the newly remodeled historic Roosevelt Hotel.

"National Philanthropy Day has carried new meaning in our community in the era post-Katrina," Rodgers explained. "The role that nonprofit organizations play in supporting our society's most vulnerable citizens is never more poignant than in a community where one day in history made us all vulnerable and in need of support outside of our own spheres of influence."

"Every year, our National Philanthropy Day celebration reminds me of that first rag-tagged year post-Katrina, when a bunch of worn-out people took a moment to celebrate the work of our nonprofits and its generous supporters" Rodgers added. "National Philanthropy Day each year is a celebration of the city that was once lost to us and now continues to rebuild, thanks to the spirit of philanthropy and community that exists in our community unlike anywhere else."

Greater Toronto Celebrates Anniversary

Another highlight of this year's National Philanthropy Day celebrations involves the Greater Toronto Chapter of AFP, which is celebrating its 15th anniversary. The chapter will hold a luncheon on Dec. 2 and at the event will honor its founding members for their "inspired leadership and distinguished service to the chapter and the fundraising profession." Paulette V. Maehara, CFRE, CAE, president and CEO of AFP, will be in attendance to join the chapter in celebrating its anniversary.

Arkansas Making Headlines

Finally, the AFP, Arkansas chapter's president-elect, Meredith Poland, shared this good news with eWire:

"For the past several years, the Arkansas chapter of AFP has had a partnership with one of the largest special publications in the Central Arkansas Area, called Inviting Arkansas.  Their issue during November is dedicated to philanthropy, and they highlight our National Philanthropy Day winners--with the cover being dedicated to one of our winners as well.  It is a beautiful piece and it is a great way for us to promote Philanthropy in Arkansas and our National Philanthropy Day!"

AFP thanks all chapters for their time, energy and commitment to making National Philanthropy Day celebrations a success across North America and beyond!

AFP Honors Philanthropy's Best

In conjunction with National Philanthropy Day®, AFP and its chapters annually select the country's most outstanding donors, volunteers and others involved in the philanthropic process. In 2009, these honorees included:

  • Paschal Murray Award for Outstanding Philanthropist: John Erickson, Erickson Retirement Communities, Baltimore Md.
  • Award for Outstanding Volunteer Fundraiser: William E. (Bill) Greehey, Valero Energy Corporation, San Antonio, Texas
  • Freeman Philanthropic Services Award for Outstanding Corporation: AT&T Corporation, Dallas, Texas
  • Award for Outstanding Foundation: The Greater New Orleans Foundation, New Orleans, La.
  • Changing Our World/Simms Youth in Philanthropy (18-23): Jordan Thomas, Chattanooga, Tenn.
  • Changing Our World/Simms Youth in Philanthropy (5-17): Caitlin's Closet, Middletown, Conn.
  • CCS Award for Outstanding Fundraising Professional: Kenneth C. Frisch, ACFRE, Hospice of Northwest Ohio, Perrysburg, Ohio

These individuals and organizations were honored at AFP's International Conference on Fundraising in April 2009 in New Orleans, La. The 2010 honorees will be announced later this year.

"From just a few local events in 1986 to a truly international celebration in 2009, National Philanthropy Day® has grown significantly, just as charitable giving and volunteerism have increased exponentially," said Maehara. "Service to the community is the foundation of our country and our society, and it's critical that we take a moment to step back and remember what philanthropy and charitable organizations have accomplished."

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