Monday, January 12, 2009

The Beginning of 'Philanthropy'

That is your faithful journaler and FFP shaking hands with Dr. William Cunningham, the former president of The University of Texas. It is 1985. You are spared the 1985 glasses by our profiles. Twenty-four years ago. Wow. We were presenting a small endowed scholarship to UT for a female athlete studying advertising or communications. They have been good stewards of our money. We added a few small amounts but they have distributed scholarship money and, even after this year's economic woes, they have a large corpus of three times that initial investment or so. (I'm not sure exactly because I couldn't find the statement they recently sent. I did find a sales tax form I have to send in with a deadline in a week, though, so that's good. Even though I collected no sales tax, I have to file it. Writing service charges aren't taxable and that's all we book these days, no printing or other taxable stuff. But I digress.)

That was our first bit of significant philanthropy. I've used quotes around it in the title because, really, our contributions hardly qualify. My joke is: "I always dreamed of being a philanthropist but I never had enough money." I wanted to go on fancy cruises, fly on private jets, eat in all the three star restaurants, too. Same problem.

But, seriously, that was the beginning of significant giving, such as it is, for us. FFP had dreamed of being able to give a scholarship at his alma mater. We'd become interested in the Women's Athletics and were impressed with the drive and the scholarship of a lot of the young women. We were young and we had never had a lot of money and we were very impressed with ourselves. We would later meet real philanthropists. People with millions to throw around. We never reached those heights, but I still enjoy the giving we can do, such as it is. And I wish that the UT people could have been convinced to handle some of my own money the last couple of decades!

1 comment:

Sarah said...

That is really great, that you did what you could with what you had/have. Never denigrate your generosity because of its relative size; the quality of the gift speaks loudest. I wish there were more like you, with a dream of generosity, and the will to put it into action.