Oct 02, 2020

Philanthropy is Not About Notches on a Belt

By Linnie S. Carter, Ph.D., APR, vice president of college advancement at HACC, Central Pennsylvania’s Community College, and executive director of the HACC Foundation

Published by the National Council for Marketing and Public Relations, Oct. 2, 2020
A few months ago, I was talking with a colleague who works for another organization about how different colleges and universities were serving their stakeholders in the midst of the coronavirus global pandemic. Some of the organizations had been bragging about the amount of money they were raising from their donors. Other colleges and universities had been proudly recounting how they were helping their students. Guess which camp HACC and the HACC Foundation fit in? You guessed it! The latter.
In March, HACC and HACC Foundation officials agreed to refrain from soliciting money from our donors – some of whom were significantly and negatively impacted by the pandemic. It was an easy decision to make, since we care about our donors and see them as people and not as banks. Instead, we focused on (1) using our generous donors’ previous charitable contributions to help our students and (2) communicating regularly with our donors. We called our donors, emailed them, mailed them letters and met with them via Zoom.
When it came to serving our students – as we say in the South – the HACC Foundation “showed up and showed out.”
Philanthropy is not about notches on a belt. What is the point of raising money if you are not using it to change your stakeholders’ lives?
Of the more than 1.5 million nonprofit organizations in the United States our donors could support, they choose to give to the HACC Foundation. We honor their generosity by spending their philanthropic investments wisely and updating them on the impact of their gifts.
We will do the same for you. If you happen to be interested in investing in HACC – the first, largest and best community college in Pennsylvania and an economic and workforce development engine in Central Pennsylvania – please contribute at hacc.edu/GiveNow.
Thankfully YOURS.