On Giving Tuesday, almost everyone in the philanthropic world asked for your financial support. Giving money is extremely important, but enduring change requires great effort we cannot relegate only to others. Permanent change requires each of us to roll up our sleeves and get involved.
I remember when I decided to get back into shape; buying the treadmill was not enough, working out on the treadmill created the change I sought. Learning the piano required time at the keyboard learning and practicing, not merely buying the instrument. Dieting required a fundamental change in how I approach food, not simply a weeklong restriction on the intake. Philanthropy is likewise.
To create real change in the world, we need to give money to the causes we believe in but also help to implement the changes we hope to see. For too long we have sloughed off the real work of change to the professionals. By providing the financial support we thought we had fulfilled our responsibility. However, there is more to do. Success comes when change becomes the new normal. This is an organic process, from the bottom up. Change is rarely sustainable when it is imposed from the outside. The new normal only happens when we all embrace it as our own.
So I hope you gave generously on Giving Tuesday because your financial support makes the work possible. Now commit to giving of yourself as well to that cause you believe in so the work becomes a reality. We are the change we want to see. It cannot happen without each of us.