Philanthropy

After almost two years of quiet “pandemic worthy” Christmases, we’re beginning to see the light at the end of the tunnel, and (knock on wood) it’s not a train.

Even Pope Francis is getting into the Christmas spirit with a contest that inspires young people to create new songs inspired by Christmas and its values. When asked what he hoped to achieve, the Pope said that music is “not alienating; it is neither superficial nor escapist. It broadens the heart, opens it to gratuitousness…” 

Fifty-six years ago, Pope St. Paul VI offered a similar message:

“This world in which we live needs beauty so as not to fall into despair.”

This Christmas, we wish you the beauty of giving back. We encourage ourselves, our families, our friends, colleagues and clients to set your sights on social causes that are in tune your own values, and to encourage others to do so as well.

A great way to give back is through philanthropy. If you think philanthropy is only for the rich and powerful, you’d be wrong. Philanthropy is something that anyone can do. All it takes is having the desire to promote the welfare of others and then achieving it by generously donating money to a good cause. 

There’s a difference between philanthropy and charity. For example, an act of charity is when you spot a homeless person on the street and give him five dollars. Philanthropy focuses on helping that homeless person solve the problems that required them to ask for a handout in the first place. Both are good. 

Philanthropy is long-term and strategic; it often involves making multiple gifts to help people over a number of years. As someone once said:

Delivering bottled water to a drought-stricken village in East Africa is charity, but philanthropy is building a well.

Our job at the Stewardship Foundation is to be good stewards with our donors’ money, and our skills as charitable gift consultants in a public foundation is proven. Please pass this along to a friend that may be interested in our services, and have a beautiful, quiet, spirit-filled, rich-in-spirit Christmas!

We Believe… In Caring for the Poor

In our continuing series of reflections based on the credos, or statements of belief on which we founded The Stewardship Foundation, we explore care for the poor, specifically the hungry…

We believe… that it is our responsibility to care for the poor, the sick and the disadvantaged, and to use our talents for the betterment of mankind through education, opportunity and freedom.

We need not look further than Matthew 25 verses 35-45 to understand the source:

“For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, I was naked and you clothed me, I was sick and you visited me, I was in prison and you came to me. … Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brethren, you did it to me.”

According to the Urban Institute, poverty in the U.S. in 2021 is 13.7%, or 1 in 7 Americans. A leading charity, Feeding America puts the number of people experiencing hunger at 35 million. In our hometown of Columbus, Ohio, you can help support a local Food Pantry (see the list) or this coming Thanksgiving plan to provide a holiday meal to a family in need through the Byron Saunders Foundation. 

We understand that values are the driving force in a nonprofit and that the social mission trumps profit in the bottom line. 

Nonprofits and charities, like the Byron Saunders Foundation often seek funding from foundations such as ours. We work with estate planners, financial advisors, accounts and attorneys. Nonprofits and charities can benefit from our relationships within the charitable planning community. We offer:

  • A cost-free resource for charitable planning
  • Donor motivation seminars and events
  • A philanthropic partner that embraces your mission and cause
  • Opportunities to meet colleagues and potential donors and clients

We are willing to formally share what we know about the causes we support with other foundations and funders. Our success rests on our commitment, leadership, energy, enthusiasm and ideas that will emerge when we work together. Contact us now at (614) 800-7985, and please consider forwarding our message to a friend or associate.

Photo credit 222479223 © US Navy Medicine | Dreamstime.com

Advent Season, Advent Wreath

When it comes to preparation for the Covid Christmas of 2020, we can go nuts on decorating the inside and outside of our house, spend hours shopping online, gain a few pounds baking cookies and cakes, and feel really sorry for ourselves that we won’t be wearing that ugly Christmas sweater to all the usual festivities.

Or, we can put the craziness on pause and prepare ourselves and our families for the annual remembrance of the coming of Jesus Christ through our own acts of charity, personal reflection, honest conversation…and an Advent wreath.

The time between November 29 and Christmas Eve is Advent Season—four weeks of spiritual preparation for the coming of a child that changed the world. For many Christians, it’s a devotional time spent lighting candles on an Advent Wreath prior to the evening meal, a Bible reading, and a small prayer prior to the blessing of the food. Others may use an Advent Calendar to encourage children to count down the days through pictures and items that represent each day of December leading up to Christmas. 

The candles on the Advent Wreath invite us to pause in silence to understand the real reason for the season: preparation for Christ’s coming.

Only if people change will the world change; and in order to change, people need the light that comes from God, the light which so unexpectedly entered into our night on that first Christmas.

—Pope Benedict XVI. Homily at Mass for the Nativity of the Lord, 25 Dec 2008

Meanings of the Advent Wreath

The wreath is a circle signifying continuous life: no beginning, no end; an eternal God; immortality of the soul; and everlasting life through Christ.

The four candles represent the four weeks of Advent. One candle is lit each Sunday until all four burn brightly. Three candles are purple, one is pink.

The Prophecy Candle
The first purple candle symbolizes hope in remembrance of the prophet Isaiah who foretold the birth of Christ. 

The Bethlehem Candle
The second purple candle reminds us of Mary and Joseph’s journey to Bethlehem and symbolizes trust in God’s promise.

The Shepherd’s Candle
The third candle is pink. It symbolizes joy that the world experienced with the birth of Jesus.

The Angel’s Candle
The third purple candle marks the final week of prayer and penance as we await the birth of our Savior, much like the shepherds in the field near Bethlehem.

Christ Candle
It’s become a popular tradition to place a white candle in the middle of the wreath to represent purity of sinlessness as seen in the life of Christ. It’s lit on Christmas Eve at evening prayer, and again at morning prayer on Christmas day. What a wonderful way to prepare our mind and heart for the promise of Christmas!

Blessings to you and your family from all of us at the Stewardship Foundation.