Today's my 33rd birthday, and with the start of a new cycle in life I'm starting new things. This year's new thing is using my birthday as a day to encourage philanthropy and giving as opposed to encouraging people to do anything for me.
Giving, unfortunately, is something that many of us don't do at any other time of year besides the holidays and even then, only to those closest to us. But there's a world full good causes that need your support. And remember, that support doesn't have to come in the form of a huge monetary gift. Enough $5 or $10 donations add up to something big for most charities and are always appreciated. If you don't even have that much to give, volunteer your time to a cause that means a lot to you. It's worth it.
While you think digest that, check out this piece I did a couple years back, when I moderated a panel discussion on philanthropy in the African-American community at New York's Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture.
And finally an appeal and a challenge. I'd like you to consider three nonprofits that are important to me: Catalyst Ohio, the magazine I edit, is a nonprofit focused on urban public education and embarking on a new campaign in 2010. The National Association of Black Journalists has been instrumental in developing me as a professional and has done the same for thousands of others since the 1970s. Lastly, my alma mater, Coppin State University, is a worthy cause as well.
I encourage you to click one of the links above and make a $33 tax-deductible donation (get it...my age), and to share those links with your networks. And if not those, be sure to consider whatever nonprofit cause is important to you. Make a difference.