OPEN

The Spirit of Giving

Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. —Margaret Mead

Students at Mt. Zion Elementary enjoy the Art to Go program.

Students at Mt. Zion Elementary enjoy the Art to Go program, funded by contributions to the Gibbes Museum's educational programming.

In early November, I was fortunate enough to attend the Lowcountry Chapter of the Association of Fundraising Professionals annual Philanthropy Day Luncheon. Over the years I have been to the luncheon, but on this particular day, I was overwhelmed by the “spirit of giving” that filled the room. Philanthropists, non-profit professionals, corporate sponsors, and foundations all came together to celebrate giving within the tri-county community as part of National Philanthropy Week. Events like these always remind me of why I do what I do. Every single person in that room believes passionately in the cause or mission of an organization. Most, in fact, support numerous causes. Yet, in that setting, we were all connected as we honored Marion and Wayland Cato, Trident United Way, General Dynamics, and Mr. and Mrs. Charles T. Cole Jr. for their wonderful philanthropic support. We learned from Blackbaud’s CEO Marc Chardon about examining the ways we engage with our donors. As Marc stated, donors today want to give more than money, they want a personal experience created through the give and take of information; they want to be part of the cause of the organization whether it be through advocating or volunteering.

Wayland and Marion Cato, and Gibbes Board Member Helen Pratt-Thomas, at the Gibbes Museum.

Marion and Wayland Cato, and Gibbes Board Member Helen Pratt-Thomas, at the Gibbes Museum. Photo by Carolina Photosmith.

We recognize that it is an uncertain time for non-profits as we face the near future and the possibility of potential charitable giving caps. While Americans do not make gifts for tax reasons only, incentives do encourage more giving. The true beneficiaries of these donations are not the generous Americans who make the gifts, but all citizens whose local communities, nation, and world are made better through the work of charitable organizations.

Marnie and Marc Chardon at the Gibbes Museum.

Marnie and Marc Chardon enjoyed the Art on Paper Fair at the museum this fall. Photo by MCG Photography.

As a new member of the Gibbes’ staff, I look forward to getting to know all of our members and supporters. Through your generosity, I am reminded daily of the importance of philanthropy. On my end, I will heed Marc’s advice to listen to you and to continually engage you so as to understand your changing needs and interests in relation to the work of the Gibbes. Additionally, I hope that you will continue to work on behalf of the Gibbes through your time, talent, treasure, and advocacy. Thank you for all that you do to support the Gibbes. Our organization is made better each day because of you. Happy Holidays!

Jennifer Ross, Major Gifts and Grants Consultant, Gibbes Museum of Art

Jen Ross and Donovan

Jen Ross and singer/songwriter Donovan. Photo by John Cusatis.

Related Content

1858 Prize event honors dedicated leader of Museum’s young patrons group

On Wednesday, September 28, Society 1858 will host the Amy P. Coy Forum and Prize Party to present the 1858 Prize for Contemporary Southern Art to this year’s winner, Alicia…

READ MORE

Gibbes Museum in the News: July 15 – August 19

The Gibbes was featured in a blog post by Gal Meets Glam (UMV: 408,728), a prominent lifestyle and fashion blogger who featured her recent trip to the Charleston on her…

READ MORE

Gibbes Museum’s Society 1858 Announces $10,000 Prize for Contemporary Southern Art

Media Alert: Each year, the 1858 Prize for Contemporary Southern Art is presented by Society 1858, a member auxiliary group of the Gibbes Museum of Art. Society 1858 is pleased…

READ MORE

1858 Prize Finalist: Toyin Ojih Odutola

“Identity is often varying, suspect, and ever-changing,” shares Toyin Ojih Odutola, a visual artist and 1858 Prize finalist. Odutola’s body of work depicts black portraiture with a variety of media—ballpoint…

READ MORE