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National Philanthropy Day® Recognizes Importance of Giving in Tough Economic Times

November 14, 2008

(Nov. 14, 2008) More than 50,000 people across North America will celebrate the 22nd anniversary of National Philanthropy Day® throughout November as a way of reminding the public about the importance of giving and volunteering, especially during difficult economic times.

National Philanthropy Day® (officially recognized on Nov. 15) is coordinated by the Association of Fundraising Professionals (AFP) and pays tribute to the extraordinary contributions that charitable giving and volunteerism have made to society.

“Given the current economic environment, National Philanthropy Day is more important than ever before,” said Paulette Maehara, CFRE, CAE, president and CEO of AFP. “The need for charitable programs rises dramatically when profits fall, costs skyrocket, and families struggle to make ends meet. But people don’t realize that the large majority of charitable programs around the world are made possible through contributions by everyday citizens, not big corporation or foundation grants.”

AFP celebrates National Philanthropy Day® through more than 100 events across North America where local donors, volunteers, foundations, businesses, young people and others are honored for their charitable work.

“During natural disasters, recessions and other catastrophic or tumultuous events, charities are able to provide services through the generosity of millions of donors,” said Maehara. “People see the growing needs in their communities and dig even deeper into their wallets to help those less fortunate. I encourage everyone this year to give what they can to charities in their communities and around the world.”

First celebrated in 1986, National Philanthropy Day® began with a presidential proclamation from Ronald Reagan. Celebrities such as Bob Hope have served as National Philanthropy Day® spokespersons. Songwriter Marvin Hamlisch wrote an official theme song for the day: “Now More Than Ever."

“Service to the community is the foundation of our society, and philanthropy has been responsible for so many incredible achievements—feeding the hungry, finding cures for diseases, building homes and teaching children, to name just a few,” said Maehara. “It’s critical that we take a moment to remember what philanthropy and charitable organizations have accomplished.”

Chapter Support

For the second consecutive year, AFP distributed a video for chapters to use during their celebrations. To encourage the public to give wisely, AFP also distributed a press release containing tips and guidance on identifying legitimate charities and ensuring gifts have the most impact.

In addition, AFP continued to work with important media outlets across North America to increase awareness of philanthropy. AFP partnered with the Globe and Mail in Canada for the fourth time to develop a supplement ("Investing in Charity") about philanthropy and fundraising (in the Attachments section below) that was published on National Philanthropy Day.

AFP continues to operate the National Philanthropy Day website, which contains information and statistics about giving and volunteering, as well as banner ads promoting NPD.

Send IHQ Your NPD Information

To prepare for NPD 2008 and keep an archive of materials, AFP International Headquarters is asking chapters to send any NPD documents, including press releases, programs, newspaper clippings, event scripts, special local supplements and anything the chapter has prepared in conjunction with its event.

Materials can be sent to National Philanthropy Day®, Association of Fundraising Professionals, Attention: NaTanya Lott, 4300 Wilson Blvd., Suite 300, Arlington, VA, 22203, or if possible, emailed to /about/.

AFP congratulates all of its chapters on a successful National Philanthropy Day®!


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