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An Indispensable Resource for Nonprofit Leaders and Fundraisers

At a time when nonprofit leaders find themselves in an increasingly diverse philanthropic environment, understanding how to harness the power of cultural diversity is essential. This resource, useful for nonprofit leaders and volunteers, fundraisers, and all who are interested in the effects of culture on our actions, especially in generosity, contains:

  • Guest columns from experts in culture and philanthropy.
  • Real-life examples from representatives of those cultures.
  • Current information items from various sources which keep knowledge on this topic up to date.
  • Input by professionals and practitioners from diverse populations and countries of origin.
  • Suggestions for the culturally-proficient professional, particularly in fundraising.
  • Plus information on the book, Diversity and Philanthropy:  Expanding the Circles of Giving, on which this website is based.

“Don’t Let the Love Die”

By Mary Tikalsky

In John 17:21, “that they all may be one”, the YMCA motto reminds us that we live in love through our thoughts and actions every day. Our interconnectedness is undeniable and our similarities are far greater than our differences as human beings. As YMCA leaders, when we show the world this way of living our lives, we make one of our greatest contributions to building a better neighborhood, a better country, and a better world.

I love the YMCA for too many reasons to list here. My passion is YMCA World Service because of how I have witnessed the power of love and collaboration when we come together in trust and truth to help one another. YMCA World Service is our national annual campaign to raise awareness of and support for the life-changing work of YMCAs around the world – with a focus on the most vulnerable communities. Our World Service program unites and strengthens us all through our worldwide fellowship in 119 countries, changing lives for the better and creating life-long friendships with no borders in the process.

In June of 2015, I had the opportunity to make a World Service visit to the YMCA programs in Bogota and Medellin, Colombia. From this experience, I have been humbled by the violent and dire context in which Colombians make a way to thrive. In addition, I was tremendously inspired by the resilience, kindness, resourcefulness and strength of the children, youth, parents, staff and volunteers in the YMCA.

One of the many YMCA program centers I visited was located in the “Zone of Tolerance” in Bogota. This is an area in the center of Bogota where prostitution is legal. The YMCA has been organizing social outreach and educational programs with women, families and children in the community for seventeen years. It is one thing to read about the wonderful, positive effect this work has on women and their children, it is quite another experience to go into the home of a family that has to rent a room for $6 per day, with one shared bathroom (if you can call it that) per floor, and a shared kitchen that consists of two hot plates and a small shelf – locked by a door with a padlock so their cooking oil is hopefully not stolen. It is quite another story to walk the dangerous streets where they live and witness that without the YMCA, the children have, quite literally, no safe space to play and can easily be tricked, by adults, to do things that they do not want to do. It is quite another story to hear how a Mom is trying to work to find a way to move out of the neighborhood with a low-wage job and to feel the appreciation she has to the YMCA for helping keep her children safe. I have witnessed the YMCA social workers teaching positive values, street smarts, and study skills to the children, empowering them to rise above their circumstances. The children know the YMCA staff can be trusted and cares about them. They learn to process their sadness, manage their fears and build the self-confidence to move forward to a more hope-filled future. I can’t imagine a better way to give back to the world for all the love and blessings I have received. Inspired by the Bogota YMCA’s photo, “No dejes morir al amor”, I won’t let the love die and I hope you will join us. I invite you to learn more about your YMCA World Service at www.ymca.net/world-service and join the conversation on Twitter @globalymca. I am a better person today because of the global YMCA!

MARY TIKALSKY, CFRE, Director, YMCA World Service

Mary Tikalsky is the Director of YMCA World Service for the International Group of the YMCA of the USA (Y-USA) in Chicago.  The World Service Campaign increases awareness of and support for the global Y Movement. Each year, local U.S. Ys, YMCA Alumni, Y leaders and individuals contribute more than $1.6 million to strengthen the organizational capacity, leadership and impact of more than 40 National YMCA Movements around the world –  reaching more than one million people. She also leads the Y-USA Global Planned Giving Program to recognize staff and volunteers who are dedicated to advancing the global mission of the Y for future generations. www.ymca.net/world-service  @WorldServiceMT

Mary Tikalsky, World Service Director, YMCA of the USA – International Group Mary.Tikalsky@ymca.net
Hashtags: #ForAll #DIG #YWorldService

New and Current Resources

 “Ethics Australia” by Rob Edwards appeared in the Fall 2017 issue of Advancing Philanthropy, www.afpnet.org.

In the November, 2015 issue of The Chronicle of Philanthropy, an article explained how education spurs Hispanic giving.  It’s good to add this to the list of motivations for giving by Hispanic population groups.

Of related interest is an article in The Economist, May 6, 2017, on aid and the private sector—“Doing Good, Doing Well.”

Questions or comments, write to:

Featured Expert

Ahad Arif Kazimov, M.P.A., M.A., Director, Center for Social and Psychological Studies

Mr. Kazimov received his BA in psychology and MA in social psychology from Baku State University. From 2005-2007 Ahad was enrolled in the Master’s degree program in Public Affairs at Indiana University, Bloomington, through the Edmund Muskie Fellowship Program. His research and academic interests are philanthropy, corporate social responsibility, domestic and social policy, and civil engagement in social and political processes in Azerbaijan. He has made presentations at conferences in Russia, Georgia, Azerbaijan and in the United States on political leadership, civil society and corporate philanthropy.

This website is based on:

Diversity and Philanthropy: Expanding the Circle of Giving

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