Supporting Riverbend: A New Year Begins
Philanthropy is beautifully defined in this excerpt:
“…The love of humanity, in the sense of caring and nourishing; it involves both the benefactor in their identifying and exercising their values, and the beneficiary in their receipt and benefit from the service or goods provided. A conventional modern definition is ‘private initiatives, for the public good, focusing on quality of life….’ A person who practices philanthropy is called a philanthropist.” – What Is Philanthropy?, Catalogue for Philanthropy
It may be that the roots of philanthropy were planted at a decisive moment in ancient times, when each member of that nomadic community was asked to give the same valuable possession toward their shared future: one coin. Everyone gave because they understood: be a part of, not apart from, the shared experience.
We are all philanthropists. In our daily lives, and here at Riverbend, we give of ourselves in many ways, in each of our individual communities and circles, ways that are deeply personal: our time and ideas, our leadership skills and, yes, our resources and financial support. These are all philanthropic endeavors. I assure you that each effort and gift given to our school will be valued and appreciated. Giving and appreciating with our hearts full certainly makes for unity, this year’s school-wide theme.
The best development professionals begin each year anew by listening, with patience and a commitment to confidentiality, to each member of the community. And so, in the coming weeks, my first objective, as Director of Development here at Riverbend, is to hear from parents and members of the board of directors; teachers and others on our staff; students and alumni; and those in the wider community. By setting a time to meet with each of you, our stakeholders, I will have the opportunity to consider your answers to these three questions: tell me about your background, how you came to be at Riverbend and, most relevant to my purpose, what one endeavor could we do together this year that would strengthen support for our school.
These private, short discussions will help me gather the elements needed to offer a current, broad-based picture of our organization and create a development plan which will be both realistic and successful. Providing guidance to the board and community, based on the information garnered during these important conversations, will then fulfill our shared desire to support our school, its program of excellence, and sustain the culture of generosity at Riverbend.
Of course, I am also a philanthropist and, last week, I made my contribution to the Annual Fund. One must know how it feels to give to ask others to do the same.
These first weeks at school have been joyful for me, as I have met the children each morning as they arrive, and had the opportunity to speak with parents at our opening events. In the short time I’ve been here, I already have a sense of the warm community it is, and am grateful to be engaged in this endeavor.
My hope for each member of our Riverbend community is to feel comfortable with your commitment – in any way you choose to show it – to the life of the school. As our educators nurture your children’s academic life with patience, kindness and insight, I wish you a meaningful year of peace and the joy of learning.
Thank you for all you do.
Our administration office is located at 39 Eliot, the building on the other side of the field.
Please feel free to reach out at any time by calling 508-655-7333 x127.