What’s less known is Benjamin Franklin’s history as activist and theorist of American philanthropy. Franklin championed beliefs that each person should give to advance the common good at a level commensurate to his or her means. Franklin also “believed in direct solicitation, asking for a specified amount, asking for gifts based on the giver’s means, asking for the largest gifts first and inviting all potential donors to be part of the project.”
His and other early philanthropic thinkers’ practical suggestions for doing good had a strong civic focus. Early initiatives like founding schools, libraries, or hospitals, were not primarily about rich people helping poor people, but about private initiatives for public good, focusing on quality of life. This very American tradition to shape our communities, support learning, diversity and expand on what government can do and has to offer is a direct reflection of how this nation developed and sees itself. Not only as a democracy governed by civic minded people, but equally shaped by citizens’ philanthropic initiatives addressing local and specific needs of communities – knowing that investing in others is a positive investment in our own future. You can see this right here in your own neighborhood where many initiatives make our lives richer.
GiveMiamiDay.org is an annual giving movement uniting community-serving organizations – big and small, new and established – to celebrate and increase generosity in Greater Miami through online giving. Give Miami Day helps raise awareness about the critical role these organizations play in our community and inspires all of us to discover and give to causes we care about. Together, we are creating a thriving and stronger Miami for all.
Early giving starts Monday, November 13.
Give Miami Day is Thursday, November 16.