Friday, January 19, 2018

The South Pacific County Community Foundation: A Growing Philosophy of Philanthropy

Stephanie Fritts, Board Member
January 18, 2018

Joining the SPCCF Board in mid-2017 has been both a challenge and a pleasure.  I vowed after retirement at the end of December 2016, to commit to nothing for one year.  So much for that vow…. but that said, I could not pass up the opportunity to work toward improving life in South Pacific County.  It wasn’t simple to get myself “up-to-speed” on the workings and plans of the SPCCF, but after several meetings, and a board retreat, I think I’m there.  And what I’ve found is that the initial attraction that lured me to the organization is indeed the central focus of its work:  a philosophy of philanthropy.  

Cape Disappointment Lighthouse on a stormy day
in January, 2018. Lighthouses are symbols
of leadership, helping us to find our way in perilous

Yes - there are a lot of “charitable” organizations in south Pacific County.  But there is a difference between charity and philanthropy.  Most often, we are able only to relieve the symptoms (pain) of our local social problems, and that is what most charitable organizations work does.  Philanthropy, however, attempts to solve the roots causes of those social problems.  That is the mission of the South Pacific County Community Foundation:  “Demonstrate innovative leadership in philanthropy and foster a dynamic community.”   That mission is the driving factor behind SPCCF and also what led me to break that early vow and commit to a three year term on the board.  

It is my intent (and that of the board) that the dollars invested in the SPCCF will improve lives, inspire change, challenge ideas, and open minds.  I am but one of many, however I truly believe the entire board is committed in the same fashion.  

I recently read that the tradition of the ancient Greeks was that philanthropy was inseparable from moral philosophy:   Good works and giving what we can for the good of others is pretty much the whole point of being human.  I would say that I believe this to be true.  

Bottom line, it’s all about being a kinder human - speaking in a positive fashion, eliminating contempt, distrain, and disrespect from our words, attitude and outlook.  We can replace that with a philosophy of philanthropy - in our words, in our deeds, and in the bottom line, with our money.  Help SPCCF find the root causes of the problems in south Pacific County, and assist with the solutions.  

All of this leads to a consideration - there are currently a couple of open positions on the board.  Board members are expected to participate at both the meeting and the “behind the scenes” levels (I’m writing this essay on my own time….), to support the mission of the organization, and to give (as in a donation).  Are you interested in serving and joining in a philosophy of philanthropy?  Interested persons are welcome to contact a board member to ascertain if all positions are full, and to potentially accompany them to a couple of board meetings.  

Give it some serious consideration - simply a donation, or more, through both service and a donation.  You can also adopt the philosophy of philanthropy and make our community the best place it can be.