National Philanthropy Day
“For a community to be whole and healthy, it must be based on people’s love and concern for one another.”– Millard Fuller, co-founder of Habitat for Humanity
As we recognise National Philanthropy Day in 2020 today, we take the time to pause, reflect and appreciate the incredible responsiveness and generosity of the Bermuda community amid the Covid-19 pandemic.
Just as we see a coming-together in the aftermath of a hurricane, the collaboration and partnership between the non-profit sector, the Government and the private sector when this crisis began was necessary, efficient and ultimately successful.
Needs identified by the Government were funded by donors — companies, individuals and foundations — and solved by non-profit leaders on the ground with the knowledge, skills and partnerships essential for addressing the many implications of the crisis.
At AFP Bermuda, we believe in the power of strong donor/non-profit relationships, and we know that these relationships will make all the difference during this time.
When considering how to support your community and non-profit partners, we encourage you to reach out to the non-profits you are already invested in to identify their needs during this time.
This will look different for every individual and every organisation, but a quick phone call or e-mail will help to focus in on ways you can get involved right now.
Think about the local non-profit serving in areas of housing, homelessness, healthcare, food support, mental health, domestic violence and care for seniors. These are the areas that have experienced an increase in the need for their services, and this is likely to continue as the economic impacts of the pandemic grow.
In order for our non-profits to adapt and respond with skill and speed, they will need quick, flexible and unrestricted gifts to address these community needs.
Think also of the non-profits that provide services that make Bermuda the happy, healthy and vibrant place in which we want to live: our art galleries, environmental organisations, music and theatre, youth sport groups, those with educational components and more.
We need those non-profits to survive, and eventually thrive again, to enhance our lives, to deepen our understanding of our own and other cultures, to appreciate our history, and to develop leadership and collaboration skills in our young people.
The non-profit sector in Bermuda is a vital partner in the wellbeing of our people and communities. Partner is the key word. They are the subject experts in their areas. They know the players and leaders in their sectors. They are the ones best poised to achieve the impact that donors and governments want to see, and that our island needs to grow and advance.
As we celebrate National Philanthropy Day, we are encouraged by how the conversation around giving and impact has shifted. Donors are reaching out to non-profits in a way that we haven’t seen in recent years. They are viewing the donor/non-profit relationship more as a collaborative partnership and less as a one-way transaction. This is a heartening shift because what we all need now is more co-operation, listening and coming together to ensure that our community is supported and that change occurs.
The AFP Bermuda Chapter is committed to investing in and supporting the mentoring, training and development of professionals involved in raising funds ethically in Bermuda.
• Jennifer Burland Adams is the founding president and a board member of the Bermuda Chapter of the Association of Fundraising Professionals. For information about the AFP, visit www.afpnet.org