One of my first blog posts (and one that still gets a lot of traffic) was about Maimonides’ eight levels of charity, or tzedakah. What interests me about this text is the recognition that people give for different reasons, some more base, and some more laudable.
One of the more honorable form of charity, according to Maimonides, is giving without ever being asked to give. Lately, during my day job, I’ve been getting more calls from people who want to make significant gifts to Acumen Fund. Until you’ve had a conversation with someone who decided, independently and without anyone asking, to make a major philanthropic donation, it’s hard to appreciate fully what an amazing gift this is. And while I fully believe in the importance and the power of asking as a way of mobilizing people to action, the selflessness that’s required proactively to reach out to a nonprofit with an unsolicited decision to make a significant gift…well that’s just the kind of decision that makes me want to wake up the next morning and work harder and do more.
So whether it’s to support Acumen Fund or any organization that is doing good work, my thanks goes out today to those of you who give and who ask for nothing in return. You know who you are, and your humility and generosity give me great hope.