On Philanthropy

“To give away money is an easy matter and in anyone’s power. But to decide to whom to give it and how large and when, and for what purpose and how, is neither in everyone’s power nor an easy matter.” — Aristotle

As we began our journey into the world of foundations, we were grateful for the encouragement, enlightenment and inspiration we received from those we met who were also learning about the art of giving.  We also received practical education from philanthropic support organizations.  At the top of the list were Exponent Philanthropy, National Center for Family Philanthropy, Womens’ Philanthropy Institute and Grantmakers for Effective Organizations.  Philanthropy extends far beyond the writing of big checks.  Webster defines it as the “love of humankind.”  And a Dallas philanthropist when asked by a reporter for her definition said:  “I believe it is the practice of returning to the community pot of assets that which we have taken out…and perhaps a smidgeon more.”  It is the weaving together of the resources of time and talent as well as the treasure.  Treasure is just a check on the table without the hands and hearts of those whose passion for the cause drives them.

Out of his appreciation for all those who continue to share with us, and the humble awareness that after over 30 years we might now have experience to share with others entering this arena, Ike wrote in his Founder Intent:

“It is my intent that we make donations and support causes where our comparatively small amounts of money can be used as leverage – seed money – to attract other givers to the cause or project…the parable of the Mustard Seed!  It is also my intent that we leverage the time, talent and experience we develop in the members of our family to mentor other potential donors as they discover the joy of giving their share of God’s bounty  – to help them grow their own family philanthropy.  I would like us to be ‘philanthropic missionaries’ and regularly allocate a portion of our funds to emphasize and support this part of our mission.”

“I resolved to stop accumulating and begin the infinitely more serious and difficult task of wise distribution.” — Andrew Carnegie

It is in this spirit that we share samples of our materials and resources which we have found useful.  We encourage you to take advantage of the collective knowledge and events that they have to offer. We look forward to our paths crossing in the future!

— Jane Leighty Justis