Philanthropy is not all give, give, give. There are a lot of others perks besides sleeping very well at night. For instance, the fundholders at Communities Foundation of Texas are not only appreciated, they’re celebrated annually at an annual dinner. This year’s supper took place on Tuesday, November 1, at CFT (of course!) with keynote speaker/author Karl Zinsmeister, who wrote “How Philanthropy Fuels American Success.” You might be surprised how Tabasco sauce played a part in American philanthropy. Here’s a report from the field:
It was a lovely evening, celebrating Communities Foundation of Texas’ fund holders and hearing from Karl Zinsmeister. Those attending included Jim and Judy Gibbs, Mary Anne Cree, Patrick Esquerre, Rila and Harvey Ladd, Cindy Simmons, Amelia Barber, Elizabeth Liser, Scott Sweet, Cathy Sweet, Sarah Higdon, Carolyn Tobin, Kristen Parrish and 150 more. CFT board Frank Risch welcomed fund holders to the annual dinner and gave a big congratulations to all staff and fund holders for the incredible $37 million success of North Texas Giving Day. Then he introduced Zinsmeister.
Zinsmeister showed photos and told stories from his almanac “How Philanthropy Fuels American Success.” Stories centered around three things: great donors, great accomplishments and great ideas. He opened with a neat story about Ned McIlhenny, the maker of Tabasco and how he saved the egret as well as 150 Negro spirituals…both of which would have been lost to time without his efforts. He also talked about Alfred Loomis, who funded the development of radar which helped win World War II, and George Eastman, a chemist who built MIT as well as the Eastman School of Music, among many other important efforts.
Zinsmeister also talked about 80% of giving being from regular individuals citing the founding of almost all Ohio colleges being from farmers pooling their money, all presidents’ homes being saved and run by volunteer groups, etc. He talked about the rise of the internet and the hacker’s code and how giving is like that already. (yep! Like #NTxGivingDay!)
Susan Swan Smith ended with a reminder to register for GiveWisely, and for fund holders to join us for CFT’s annual volunteer event at North Texas Food Bank.
It was a very inspirational evening. Perhaps several locals in the crowd will be the ones for the history books and next edition of this philanthropic hall of fame.
* Photo credit: Can Turkyilmaz