Philanthropy has long been narrowly defined by great wealth and large monetary gifts. Consequently, prevailing stories about giving often exclude the generosity of people of modest and average means. Timeworn “philanthropist” stories further feed false ideas about who’s concerned about issues, who has something of value to give, who matters and who’s needed to affect change.
The Giving Back Project reframes portraits of philanthropy to present a richer picture. It’s a civic engagement campaign that uses photography and storytelling from a broad spectrum of givers to show how generosity can build community and then transform communities. This groundbreaking work, led by New Generation of African American Philanthropists, is now up for a 2012 CLASSY Award for “Most Effective Awareness Campaign by a Charity.”
The CLASSY Awards is the largest philanthropic awards ceremony in the country, celebrating the greatest charitable achievements by nonprofit organizations, socially conscious businesses, and individuals worldwide. In 2011, nearly 2,000 organizations and volunteers were nominated for a CLASSY Award, and their collective efforts impacted the lives of more than 200,000,000 people in 71 countries worldwide.
You can help the Giving Back Project generate some buzz by sharing this link to the Achievement Page via Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, G+, your blog, email, etc. Just help us get the word out! Use the hashtag, #classyawards. Further details about the selection process can be found here. If the project advances as a finalist, then you will be urged to cast a vote during the crowd-sourcing phase.
Literary arts and photography, music and spoken-word poetry, and digital media and social networking compose the Giving Back Project are used in reframing philanthropy. These multimedia offerings help enlighten and engage diverse audiences in communities across the country. The book Giving Back is a centerpiece of an overall campaign that is leading people to rethink and re-imagine the power of their giving.
Ultimately, the Giving Back Project aims to ignite a movement of conscientious philanthropy by empowering a generation of Americans to recognize their power and responsibility to give back. — VF