Empowering Community Spirit: Exploring the Broad Spectrum of Philanthropy


For Immediate Release:
November 1, 2023

Philanthropy is in All of Us
By Collin Mays

The holiday season is fast approaching. For many, that means time spent with family,
friends, and those that hold a special place in our hearts. The holiday season allows us time to
reflect, appreciate our blessings, and pay it forward. Whether it’s donating time, money or talent,
philanthropy is in all of us. When we think of philanthropy, we often think of monetary donations.
While that is an important aspect of philanthropy, there is much more to paying it forward.

Did you know most Americans spend their free time giving to others? True philanthropy is
much deeper than our pockets. Philanthropy comes from within our hearts and pours into our
communities. When it comes to paying it forward and you want to think of ways to do so, please
remember to think outside of the box.

Some Ways to Pay It Forward:

  • Time is a priceless gift! Donate yours to a cause a loved one cares about or to your
    childhood church. During the holidays, help is usually needed to pack food baskets, purchase
    and wrap holiday gifts, stuff stockings or staff holiday gatherings for kids. Volunteer!
  • Teach them! Mentoring the next generation is a gift that keeps on giving. Consider donating
    time towards the productivity of others. Ask yourself, ‘What skills do I have that someone
    else might benefit from?’ It can be as simple as reading to children or helping an adult learn
    to read. Are you a financial whiz? Share your knowledge with an organization that could use
    your help. Or offer to teach others basic financial literacy. The possibilities are almost
  • Help Foster Children. Foster care services don’t just need foster parents, they also need in-
    house and remote volunteers. Not sure you can work directly with kids? You can still make a
    difference by organizing a supply drive to help a family in your community. Check with your
    local Foster Care Organization for suggestions then rally your friends to help meet their
  • Visit with Senior Citizens. Not every elderly person has a family to spend time with. Check
    with an area Senior Citizens Center or Home to see if they can use your help. A simple
    conversation or act of kindness can mean the world to a lonely individual. Plus, the elderly
    have a whole lot of history and wisdom to share. Lend an ear!
  • Volunteer at your sanctuary of choice. Giving through service is the most powerful
    statement known to humankind. Paying it forward through service will feel rewarding for
    you, the religious institution, and community. Pay it forward by organizing a food drive,
    youth event, or by assisting with maintenance needs.
  • Walk a dog; feed a cat. Many animal rescue centers need supplies, funds – and volunteers.
    Check with your local rescue center to see how you can help. Some need volunteers to
    foster animals. Others could use blankets, food, toys, and other basic supplies. You can also
    provide the animals with kindness, someone to pet them, walk them and comfort them
    while they await a forever home.

As you can see, the possibilities for volunteering are boundless. Do what means the most to you
and it will mean more to the recipients. They will know that you’ve given from the heart.

Give forward through action but don’t think of the holiday season as the only time to do so.
Philanthropy is in all of us even if we don’t realize it. Celebrate yourself and those causes you care
about every day of the year.

However, if you can only donate time and talent once a year, now is the time to do so.
November is a special time for giving. National Philanthropy Day is November 15 th and is used to
celebrate volunteerism, and charitable giving of all kinds. Additionally, Giving Tuesday takes place
on November 28 th
. Like National Philanthropy Day, Giving Tuesday allows us to put generosity first
and pay it forward through action.

Yes, your monetary donations are always needed! In fact, year-end financial donations account
for a considerable amount of many organizations’ budgets. According to Charity Navigator, charities
receive an average of 41% of their contributions in the last part of the year. Plus, there are
advantages to doing so beyond just enjoying the spirit of giving brought on by the holidays. For
those who itemize their tax returns there may also be tax benefits to donating monetarily. Check
with your accountant, because giving before the year’s end might just help you as well as others.

So, remember to pay it forward through time, talent, and treasure this holiday season and beyond.
Philanthropy is the greatest gift of humankind, for philanthropy is in all of us.

About Collin Mays

Collin Mays is a well-respected leader from the Midwest who has worked in state and local
government. For years, Mr. Mays has also served his community, sharing his time and talent with
the nonprofit sector. He is Co-Chair of The Soul of Philanthropy Michigan (TSOP), a project that pays
tribute to black philanthropy. The project raised more than $400,000 between 2022-2023. Mr. Mays
also served as the 2021 Committee Chair of Alzheimer’s Association – Walk to End Alzheimer’s.
Under Collin’s leadership the Detroit chapter placed first in the nation with the most registered new
teams and 17th in the nation for fundraising, raising over $800,000.
As a public servant, Collin Mays has served as the Director of Economic Inclusion with the City of
Cincinnati, Community and Economic Development Director with Delta Township, and Economic
Development Director with the City of Center Line.