Philanthropy Lives Inside Of Us All

A guest blog by Kendra Mallett-Brunson, LRADAC Foundation Executive Director

Call me naïve, but I cannot be the only kid who grew up thinking that the words “billionaire” and “philanthropist” were synonymous. No kidding. I remember looking up to Oprah Winfrey and Bill Gates and waiting for the day I would grow up and give my millions away. It took me far too long to realize that philanthropy is just as much about the feeling, as it is about the funding. The root word “phil” is Greek for “love”. While I do not spend my days breaking down the meanings of words, this is one that I cannot ignore. Philanthropy is at the core of everything I do professionally and personally. Hence, it is something I both live for and love.

I spent the last ten years of my life in sales and fund development. As the Executive Director of the LRADAC Foundation, my work week consists of soliciting donors, creating diverse streams of revenue, and advocating for resources for individuals pursuing treatment for substance misuse. For most of my professional life, I have worked with donors whose wealth far surpassed mine. I found myself in many meetings wondering what gave these donors their esteem as philanthropists. It was not until recently that I had a revelation. There were three things that nearly 99% of all the donors I encountered had in common. Because of these commonalities, I had no choice but to believe that I, too, was a philanthropist. The truth is you are probably a philanthropist yourself.

I believe that true philanthropist:

Whether it is $5 or $50,000, your gift makes an impact on the lives of the people served by nonprofits. Know that the organization is grateful for your philanthropic efforts. Show grace when the asks come more frequently, fundraisers are canceled, or programs change abruptly.

I am and will always be a bold advocate for blind charity. Blind charity is the act of giving without oversight or judgment. It requires that you believe that the organizations you have trusted to do the work will be good stewards of your charity. More trust and less scrutiny allow organizations to truly thrive at what they were created for-serving the community and saving lives.

Nonprofits and social service agencies need your support now more than ever. You may only hear from your favorite charity 2-3 times a year. It is important to know that our work to fulfill our mission is 365 days a year. Nonprofits have their own love language and thrive off words of affirmation and support from the community members. The “just because” gifts often come in at “just the right time”.

The LRADAC Foundation exists to support individuals and families who require financial support to pay for treatment. Our work is made possible by people like you, who believe in second chances and better tomorrows. 100% of funds raised go directly to programs that give patients and families hope and a chance for a sustainable, healthy future. Philanthropy lives inside of us all. The LRADAC Foundation is always looking for people like you, who give with their heart and stand with us in supporting more pathways to recovery. Learn more today at www.lradac.org/foundation.

LRADAC is the designated alcohol abuse and drug abuse authority for Lexington and Richland Counties of South Carolina. The public, not-for-profit agency offers a wide array of prevention, intervention and treatment programs in locations convenient to residents of both counties. The agency has a budget of approximately $10 million and serves more than 5,000 clients per year.