Hark! Are those Angels I hear?

Posted by Laura Otten, Ph.D., Director on December 12th, 2008 in Articles, Thoughts & Commentary

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Raphael’s Angels

I’ve only just learned of using the term angel as part of the explicit label of some investment companies.  I just thought that all venture capitalists and investors of whatever ilk were angels to someone or some organization by the very nature of what they did.  But as so frequently happens, I’ve since heard/read the term a trillion times in the weeks since. 

Angels in the nonprofit world, that’s another story.  We all have been looking for them since our inceptions, I’m sure.  Unless, of course, you were one of the lucky few and were started with an angel’s gift.  These angels are the ones that come with checks with lots of zeros. 

This year, however, new angels may come, bearing smaller gifts, most likely.  And we should treasure them just as much as the ones carrying the heavy load of zeros.  According to a study conducted for PayPal, 73 percent of Americans still plan on making gifts to charities this holiday season, a beautiful 13 percent increase over last year.  And this same survey, which, for the purposes of putting it all in context, was conducted in mid-October, also found that while folks were still planning on giving to charities they were also planning on cutting back on how much they spent on traditional presents. 

Couple this with the added statistic from a second study, conducted for World Vision, that found that 49 percent of their respondents were “more likely” to give a contribution to a worthy cause—feeding the homeless, sponsoring an animal, providing heat for a family—as the present given to a family member or friend.  This same study also revealed that 84 percent of the people surveyed preferred receiving a gift that would help others over a traditional gift. 

Do you hear those wings fluttering?  Make it happen, and then appreciate the giver and the one in whose name the gift was made.

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