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National Philanthropy Day® More Important Than Ever

November 16, 2010

More than 50,000 people will celebrate National Philanthropy Day® (NPD) this year. Officially celebrated on Nov. 15, people around the globe are coming together to recognize the extraordinary accomplishments that philanthropy--and those involved in the philanthropic process--have made to the world.

In more than 100 National Philanthropy Day celebrations across the United States, Canada, Mexico and Asia, communities will come together to honor outstanding donors, volunteers, foundations, businesses, youth and nonprofits leaders who are improving the quality of life for all people.  The events, coordinated internationally by AFP, will feature awards and honors, as well as speakers discussing the importance of philanthropy, especially in the current economic environment.

"National Philanthropy Day has never been more important than it is today," said Paulette V. Maehara, CFRE, CAE, president and CEO of AFP. "People are incredibly generous, and we've seen charitable giving and volunteering grow substantially over the last few decades. But with many people suffering under these challenging economic times, and the demand for charitable services greater than ever, NPD is a reminder that we need everyone to chip in and help their neighbor."

To hear more from Maehara on the importance of NPD today, read her blog post and her guest blog post for the Council on Foundations. Click here to watch a special 2010 National Philanthropy Day Video.

National Philanthropy Day was first recognized in 1986 through a proclamation by President Ronald Reagan and celebrated by a coalition of organizations. AFP has taken the lead in promoting NPD and runs the official NPD website (, which features a list of events, tips on wise giving, data on giving and volunteering and other information on philanthropy. AFP also announces the creation of a version of the NPD website created specifically for your smartphone. On your mobile, Internet-ready phone, go to

To celebrate NPD this year, AFP will be announcing a new educational campaign later in November to increase the public's knowledge of legitimate charities and how to ensure their gifts will be used ethically and effectively.

Over the past several years AFP has assisted in the creation of a special section in Canadian newspaper The Globe and Mail. You can view and download that special section by clicking here (PDF document).

In conjunction with National Philanthropy Day, AFP and its chapters annually select the most outstanding donors, volunteers and others involved in the philanthropic process. In 2010, these honorees included:

  • CCS Award for Outstanding Fundraising Professional: Donald Rizzo, CFRE, West Hartford, Ct.
  • Changing our World/Simms Award for Outstanding Youth in Philanthropy, Ages 5- 17: Bilaal Rajan, Toronto, Ontario
  • Changing our World/Simms Award for Outstanding Youth in Philanthropy, Ages 18-23: Jake Gallagher, Yarmouth, Maine
  • Freeman Philanthropic Services Award for Outstanding Corporation: TELUS, Vancouver, British Columbia
  • Paschal Murray Award for Outstanding Philanthropist: Ada Lee & Pete Correll, Atlanta, Ga.
  • Award for Outstanding Foundation: John & James Knight Foundation, Wichita, Kan.
  • Award for Outstanding Volunteer Fundraiser: Edward M. Friend, III, Birmingham, Ala.

"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."

For more information, please visit the official NPD website.

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