First things first. What's philanthropy? We're so glad you asked. Linguistically speaking, philanthropy traces its roots to the Greek word philanthropia meaning “love for humanity.” Today, when we speak of philanthropy, we are generally referring to the practice whereby individuals or private entities contribute funds to organizations or causes that support the public good. Yes, you've probably seen the names of philanthropists on university buildings, hospitals, rec centers, in programs for cultural performances and in annual reports. Those individuals? All philanthropists.
At People's Liberty, a philanthropic lab in Cincinnati, we operate a bit differently. To us, philanthropy is about more than cutting checks. We believe that investing in place starts by investing in that place's people. So... that's what we do. People's Liberty invests directly in individuals to support their projects and accelerate their leadership development. Your brother, your sister, your mom, your Aunt Nancy, her best friend, that one guy, your bartender, his nephew; we grant to them. Madness.
Intrigued? Good. Keep reading.
5 Mad Principles
Mad Philanthropists seek to fully embrace these principles in their lives and work:
(Be bold in your attempts)
(Accept failure, move on)
(Exchange lessons, skills & resources)
(Be keen, critical & forward-thinking in your observations)
(Make it matter to you)
Our Mad History
Perhaps this is the first you've heard of the Society of Mad Philanthropists. We wouldn’t be surprised; the Society has operated underground for most of its existence. Shhh.
Our beginnings can be traced back long ago to the generous people who shared their love for humanity and embodied the principles that guide us today. John D. MacArthur was generous with his wisdom, Helen Keller with her story and Dolly Parton with her books. In Cincinnati, two Society members, Carol Ann and Ralph V. Haile were generous with their time, resources, irreverence, and fun-loving spirit.
The Society of Mad Philanthropists officially came above ground in MMXIV. Why? Well, there's never been a time when expressing one’s love for humanity was so popular. Seriously. Check it. This generation stands alone, and the Society of Mad Philanthropists hope to capitalize on this present zeitgeist by recruiting a handful of new members.
If you’re interested in joining the Society, we suggest you do so soon. This is a once-in-two-millenia call for applicants. If not now, when?