My philosophy of philanthropy is a very simple and straightforward credo to help inspire donors and volunteers to support and champion outstanding works.

Over the past 25 years, I have had the extraordinary opportunity to work in a field that continues to inspire and motivate me each and every day. The opportunity to work with professional colleagues and volunteers from all walks of life has been a highlight of my career. Philanthropy is a Greek term meaning, “the love of human kind” and this expression is a wonderful way to describe the impact of our sector.

From a small non-profit organization to a large institution, the philosophy of philanthropy resonates in the good works of the world’s philanthropic community. Whether educating our young, finding the cure, meeting social issues or advocating for our planet, philanthropy plays an integral role in all facets of our lives.

When first starting out in the world of fund development, I recall a discussion with my mother about what I did for a living. My mother had the impression that I “begged for money” and I needed to find a way that would help her to better understand not only what I did, but also the impact of philanthropy.

I took my mother on a tour one day of our local hospital and university for which I had a relationship as the campaign director at each setting. After touring these institutions I pointed to a new emergency department and a new library and shared that I had something to do with their creation. By working with donors and volunteers, I was able to help raise the necessary capital to allow both organizations to realize their dreams. My mother never forgot this experience and would often say to friends, “my son helps make dreams happen”. She was so taken by this experience that upon her passing many years later, she left a legacy gift to the hospital where she began her nursing career.

My Philosophy on Philanthropy…I want to continue to help make a difference.

Dana C. Dawson, CFRE, CNC