Are You the Future of Philanthropy? Meet Dan Rich

NPBlogCarnivalBannerFor the third year in a row, DonorDreams is proud to be hosting the Nonprofit Blog Carnival in May. On May 4, 2015, we published a call for submissions from non-profit bloggers across the blogosphere on the topic of “You are the future of philanthropy,” which stems from a 2007 TED Talks video presentation by Katherine Fulton. I asked bloggers to pontificate on any number of topics including the democratization of philanthropy, aggregated giving, social investing, and much more. If you are a blogger looking for more details, click here to read the May 4th call for submissions.
We will publish the May 2015 Nonprofit Blog Carnival on May 28, 2015 right here on the DonorDreams blog platform.
In addition to whipping the blogosphere up into a frenzy, we are dedicating our Tuesday and Thursday DonorDreams posts throughout May to people involved in local philanthropy. We’re videotaping donors, volunteers and non-profit professionals and asking them to answer the following question posed by Katherine Fulton at the end of her TED Talks presentation:

“Imagine 100 years from now and your grandchildren are looking at an old picture of you. What is the story? What impact did you want to have on the community around you? What impact did you make?”

Meet Dan Rich
Dan helps people . . . period. And he is “philanthropic” in many ways including his career path, his volunteer choices, and his charitable giving.
As the City of Elgin’s Public Works Superintendent, Dan’s work is people-centered. His work and the work of his team represents an investment in community every single day. When it snows, they clear the roads so the rest of us can get to work and help other people. When a water main breaks, they fix it. When the streets crumble and decay, they patch it.
President John F. Kennedy cast public service in a philanthropic light when he said the following in his 1961 State of the Union speech:

“I have pledged myself and my colleagues in the cabinet to a continuous encouragement of initiative, responsibility and energy in serving the public interest. Let every public servant know, whether his post is high or low, that a man’s rank and reputation in this Administration will be determined by the size of the job he does, and not by the size of his staff, his office or his budget. Let it be clear that this Administration recognizes the value of dissent and daring — that we greet healthy controversy as the hallmark of healthy change. Let the public service be a proud and lively career. And let every man and woman who works in any area of our national government, in any branch, at any level, be able to say with pride and with honor in future years: ‘I served the United States Government in that hour of our nation’s need.'”

Of course, Dan is much more than a public servant, and his philanthropic work is varied, deep and wide. The following is a brief summary of some of his contributions to the community:

  • When Dan was on the front line of the public works department, he volunteered as an executive officer of the local SEIU union chapter.
  • When Dan was confronted with an unfairness in his daughters school district, he ran for school board, won a seat and served.
  • Dan once sat on his local United Way board of directors, and he is currently a board volunteer for the Boys & Girls Club. In addition to attending board meetings, he has volunteered his time to work with kids after-school
  • Dan has rolled up his sleeves and helped plan, organize and implement special event fundraisers. He recently chaired an annual campaign pledge drive.
  • Dan makes charitable contributions to local charities.

For all of these reasons, we  ask Dan to take a crack at answering the question that Katherine Fulton posed at the end of her TED Talks presentation.
Dan’s philanthropy story?

(Note: If you receive DonorDreams via email you may need to click here to view today’s video interview.) 
Stories from your community?
Katherine Fulton says in her TED Talks presentation:

“We have a problem. Our experience to date both individually and collectively hasn’t prepared us for what we’re going to need to do or who we’re going to need to be. We’re going to need a new generation of citizen leaders willing to commit ourselves to growing and changing and learning as rapidly as possible.”

Have you met someone in your community who you think embodies the future of philanthropy and is a member of a new generation of citizen leaders? If so, please scroll down and use the comment box to tell us about that person.
Here’s to your health!
Erik Anderson
Founder & President, The Healthy Non-Profit LLC!/eanderson847

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