What to say about “philanthropy”

There’s a sentiment in the organization that we need to put the word philanthropy into certain lists of key concepts. For instance, the article about the strategic process that’s been distributed to state newsletter editors for their winter editions, says

For 125 years, AAUW has been advancing equity for women and girls through education, advocacy, philanthropy, and research

It just strikes me as odd to put philanthropy in that list. Maybe my English teachers spent too much time drumming “parallel construction” into my head.

Philanthropy is what allows us to make a difference with education, advocacy and research. It’s not an end in itself.

And I, for one, think we need to link philanthropy (giving dollars) with volunteerism (giving time) to really understand the scope of the effort we’ve been making for the last 125 years.

So it’s important – critical even – but let’s put it in it’s proper place.

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