January 2023

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Friends in Philanthropy: January 2023 Issue

“Don’t tell where it came from, and don’t tell me who needed it. Just say it’s a blessing from the Lord.”

– Small-town farmer Hody Childress on his $100 monthly gift to cover strangers’ prescription costs, as remembered by a local pharmacist

Hody Childress won’t make the next Forbes Top Givers list. His simple act of kindness—anonymously giving $100 a month to a local pharmacy to make sure his neighbors can get their prescriptions—is far too modest by their standards.

But gifts like his are just as important as those of, say, Bill Gates or Warren Buffett. That’s because they prove the average person really can do meaningful good in the world, simply by choosing to be generous.

Childress’s story comes at an important moment, as the decline in middle-class charitable giving reaches a crisis point. In fact, with so much attention on mega-donors in recent years, it sometimes feels like philanthropy has become a luxury, reserved for the wealthy and out of reach for the rest of us.

It’s just lucky nobody told Hody Childress.

Read more about his story, and about the collapse of middle-class charitable giving, in this month’s issue.

But first, a programming note: Going forward, Friends in Philanthropy won’t be sent on the same monthly schedule. Instead, we’re looking into sending less frequent, more substantive updates on the state of philanthropy in 2023. Watch your inbox for news.

Thank you for being a subscriber up to this point! We hope this newsletter has helped you become a more informed and thoughtful donor, and that reading stories about other generous givers like you has inspired you to keep sharing your good fortune with the world.

One hand reaching out for another

How to Support Kinship United with Your Donor-Advised Fund (Kinship United) – Ready to support a charity that uses Christian principles to rescue widows and orphans around the world? We’ll show you how to recommend a grant through your DAF in minutes.

A piggy bank and some change

Middle-Class Philanthropy Is Collapsing (National Review) – From 2000 to 2018, the share of U.S. households that donate to charity dropped from 66% to 50%. Yet big-ticket giving is actually growing. Has charity become a luxury?

Prescription pills out of the bottle

An Alabama Man Secretly Helped Pay Strangers’ Prescriptions For Years (BBC) – For a decade, small-town farmer Hody Childress gave $100 a month to a local pharmacy so his neighbors could afford their medicine. He only told his family when he got too sick to handle it himself.

A man loading boxes into a van

4 Ways To Prioritize Corporate Philanthropy During An Economic Downturn (Forbes) – It can be tempting to cut back on corporate giving programs during a difficult economy. Here’s why pulling back when demand is highest might be a mistake, and how to avoid it.

A green plant growing out of a jar of change

Your Estate Plan Is About Living Generously Right Now, Too (National Christian Foundation) – When families discuss inheritance, they’re talking about passing along faith and values, not just money. Here’s how to make sure your estate plan is leaving a clear “living legacy” for the next generation.

Photos courtesy of Unsplash.

Kinship United often posts content and opinions that are of interest to the philanthropic community that supports Kinship United’s mission. Nothing published by Kinship United constitutes an investment recommendation, nor should any data or content published by Kinship United be solely relied upon for any investment, tax, legal or financial decisions. Kinship United strongly recommends that you perform your own independent research and/or speak with a qualified investment professional before making any financial decisions.