Inside Foundant – the Blog

Make No Mistake: Philanthropy Is About More Than Money

Reposted from PhilanthroFiles | Original Post: July 25, 2014

By Lauren KotkinExponent Philanthropy

What is the definition of “giving?” Has the term become synonymous with nothing but money – rather than giving of an individual’s time, talents and skills? And what about the word “philanthropy?” Has it, too, become indistinguishable from the giving of only money? Are philanthropy and giving just about money?

~e-Volunteerism, Volume XIII, Issue 2, January 2013

Today’s philanthropy is not just about giving money conclude authors Susan Ellis and Rob Jackson after tracing philanthropy’s history and evolution: “Our goal should be to encourage the widest possible spectrum of giving and philanthropy, getting people to participate as they can, when they can, while helping our organizations to see any form of gift as support worthy of appreciation and cultivation.”

For example, according to the Corporation for National & Community Service, one in four Americans volunteered in 2012, accumulating 7.9 billion hours of service worth $175 billion. See a state-by-state comparison of the value of volunteer time or search by volunteer job.

At Exponent Philanthropy, we too believe that philanthropy comes in non-dollar form. It’s why we’re excited to incorporate service as part of each National Conference.

This fall’s 2014 National Conference will include two opportunities to give back:

Service Project With City Year DC

On Saturday morning, November 1, from 8:30-11:30 a.m., City Year DC invites conference participants to join its staff and corps members for hands-on activities in one of City Year’s partner schools. Participants will work in small groups on projects to benefit the school and its students. This is a wonderful opportunity to hear stories and ask questions about City Year’s impact and the students it serves.

City Year is an education-focused, nonprofit organization that partners with public schools to help keep students in school and on track to graduate. In communities across the United States and through two international affiliates, this innovative public-private partnership brings together teams of young AmeriCorps members who commit to a year of full-time service specifically in public schools. Corps members support students by focusing on attendance, behavior, and course performance through in-class tutoring, mentoring, and after school programs.

Trick or Treat for Our Troops

In honor of Halloween, on Friday, October 31, from 5:00-6:00 p.m., conference participants will have a unique opportunity to trick-or-treat through our exhibit hall. Any candy you do not wish to keep, in addition to magazines and toiletries you wish to add, will be donated to Treats 4 Our Troops. We’ll also have a card-writing table available so you can send a note of thanks to our active service members.

Headquartered in Arlington, Virginia, Treats 4 Our Troops was founded in 2007 to collect and distribute candy, toiletries, and gently used magazines to our nation’s troops. The care packages we create will be sent to troops who are currently deployed or personally delivered to service members at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Bethesda, Maryland.

Follow the 2014 National Conference buzz on Twitter (#Exponent14), read about the plenaries at, and receive highlights via email by signing up at

Related posts

Volunteer Energy: A Renewable Resource

12 Ways to Help Grantees Use Volunteers

Learn with Peers at the 2014 National Conference

What Does It Take to Rebuild a Neighborhood? 2014 National Conference Site Sessions

Related resources

Reimagining Service, a national coalition dedicated to increasing social impact through effective volunteer engagement


Lauren Kotkin, Senior Program Director, Exponent Philanthropy

Lauren Kotkin, Senior Program Director, Exponent Philanthropy

Senior Program Director Lauren Kotkin plans a range of educational programs for the Exponent Philanthropy community, including conferences, webinars, and conference calls. She also dedicates a portion of her time to managing our resources on investments. Previously, she worked at the Council on Foundations in the Family Foundation Services department. Lauren holds an undergraduate degree from Duke University and an M.Ed. from Lesley University, with a focus on using arts in education.