A True Philanthropic Holiday Season
By Margaret May Damen, CFP, CLU, ChFC
NABBW’s Philanthropy Expert

Each year it seems there is more conspicuous consumption and less conspicuous compassion around the holiday season. Is it just human nature or do we all get a bit edgy when we hear Christmas Carols and Holiday tunes blast out of the radio and in the shopping malls before Halloween? It seems merchants are “Decking the Halls” way before Jack Frost starts nipping at our toes.

Mark DeMoss, author of The Little Red Book of Wisdom, writes “The standard, \’How much should I give?\’ gives way to \’How much should I keep?\'”

Think for a moment, are we as Boomer Women, happy with what the material world has given us? Are we at a time in our lives when keeping less and giving more of our time, talent, and treasure could bring us authentic joy of the season?

Of course, these uncertain economic times may cause us to be wary of giving more, but if we can change our perspective of what we really value in our lives – conspicuous compassion rather than conspicuous consumption, we may look back at 2011 as the most joyful and happy of holiday seasons when we practiced the true meaning of philanthropy – “the love of humankind.”

Margaret May Damen is Founder of the Institute For Women and Wealth in Lake Worth, Florida, which provides a forum for women to recognize and fulfill their abundant wealth legacy of values and valuables. She is the Planned Giving Consultant to the Kravis Center of the Performing Arts, West Palm Beach, Florida; a strategic leadership consultant for the United Way of Martin County Foundation, Stuart, Florida and serves as a member of the Executive Committee of the National Board of the Partnership for Philanthropic Planning, Indianapolis IN.

She is a frequent keynote speaker and workshop leader on topics of money, wealth, and women\’s legacy. As a recognized thought-leader and change maker, she has presented papers at the national conferences of the Partnership for Philanthropic Planning, the International Association of Professional Fundraisers and the Association of Healthcare Philanthropic Professionals. Margaret is a member of the Sigma Alpha Iota National Music Fraternity and a classical flutist. She is co-author of “Women, Wealth and Giving: The Virtuous Legacy of the Boom Generation.”

Learn more about Margaret May on her website, Margaret-May.com. To download your copy of The 10 Steps to Being a Virtuous Philanthropist visit her web site InstituteForWomenandWealth.org. If you have questions about how to begin your philanthropic role, send her an email at mmdamen@earthlink.net . Carpe Diem! The Philanthropic Muse