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Visionary philanthropy

I recently came across a quote that has stuck with me and continues to be meaningful.  I can’t give credit to its author but I appreciate whoever it is.

The quote says, “Blessed are those who can give without remembering and take without forgetting.”

The quote is meaningful to me for several reasons.  First, it describes a lot of people I know.  I have been fortunate to know some of the most generous people in the world.  Most of them are described by this quote.

Most people who share their resources do so from a genuine motive to help others.  Seldom are they concerned with self-gratification.  The benefit of others is their concern.
They do not keep lists of those they have helped and often do not recall specific acts of kindness when reminded of them.  On those rare occasions when others reciprocate their good deeds, they never forget and are forever grateful.

Secondly, I like the quote because it seems so consistent with our Lord’s teachings about giving.  Matthew 6 comes to mind.  Jesus taught that the purpose of our acts of kindness should be to help the needy and not to call attention to ourselves.

There have been many surveys designed to determine the main reasons people give to charitable organizations.  The results are always the same.  People give to organizations like Austin Grad because they believe in the institutional mission.  Tax benefits and recognition are secondary.  Not that they are unimportant, but first and foremost, the true philanthropist lives and gives to serve others.

At Austin Grad, we believe in recognizing and honoring our donors.  We list their names in our publications.   We name facilities for them.  We put them on our donor wall.  Why?  Because we want them and others to be ever mindful of our gratitude for their generous support.  Moreover, their example serves as inspiration for others to do likewise.

Yet, we know their hearts.  There is no doubt that their support is given for the right reasons.  Their concern is to support the mission of Austin Grad and the students who attend here.  They are true philanthropists.  They give, often without remembering and take without forgetting.  We are all blessed by them.

Neil Haney
Director of Development

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