Celebrate National Philanthropy Day with Main Street Community Foundation

November 15 is National Philanthropy Day, a day first organized in the 1980s to recognize the contributions philanthropy makes in local communities as well as nationally. Nearly every social cause over the past century has been driven by the charitable sector and the support generated by fundraisers that inspire donors around the world to give of their money and time. Philanthropy is the act of giving towards the common good, not because of a requirement, but because it strengthens our communities and because at some point in time, everyone has seen its impact. In these especially challenging times, it is more important than ever to reach out and build connections with each other, and philanthropy provides a path to do so.

Everyone can be a philanthropist, and there are many ways to give back to your community – Main Street Community Foundation is here to help. Main Street Community Foundation has been a philanthropic organization inspiring and assisting local donors since 1995, providing over $25.3 million in grants and scholarships to support Bristol, Burlington, Plainville, Plymouth, Southington, and Wolcott. Individuals, families, and businesses can donate to one of the Foundation’s 275 funds, all of which benefit various causes and organizations in your community through grantmaking.

You could also establish a fund dedicated to a cause or organization you are most passionate about. Either on your own or with family and/or friends, there are several fund options: Donor Advised Fund, where you recommend grants to organizations you select; Field of Interest Fund, which supports a specific community, cause, or issue; Scholarship Fund, to support students pursuing their educational dreams; or a Designated Fund, which supports one or more organizations. Or you could create an Unrestricted Fund, in which the donor places no restrictions on the gift and leaves decisions about charitable use of the funds to the Foundation.

Another way to inspire philanthropy while also giving back is to set up a challenge match. This is where a donor matches a specific dollar amount if the challenged fund or organization meets a certain fundraising goal. Recently, MSCF’s Men & Boys’ Fund received a challenge grant from an anonymous donor who pledged to match dollar for dollar up to $5,000. Through the generosity of donors, the hard work of the Fund’s volunteers and MSCF staff, the goal was exceeded, raising $7,580, which will go towards fulfilling the Men & Boys’ Fund mission.

And philanthropy is not just donating monetarily. Donating food and basic need items to organizations that need them is a great way to support your community. Donating your time and volunteering for an organization you care about is also a great way to give back. Need help learning what needs exist in your community? Check out the Community Wishlist on MSCF’s website, a collection of needs provided by nonprofits, from volunteer opportunities to clothes, toys, and furniture.

Giving back to your community – whether your community is the town you live in, the town you work in, your neighborhood or your family – in a way that is important to you is what philanthropy is. And Main Street Community Foundation is here to assist you in achieving your charitable goals.