The Philanthropist In You

Many people shy away from charitable giving because they believe it is defined by astronomical monetary donations, this is a misnomer. In fact, the consistency of giving and recruitment of other donors can be more impactful than a one time or inconsistent sizeable donations.

The most daunting task is finding worthy causes to invest your philanthropic dollars. Several years ago, I was confronted with this same dilemma and developed three criteria to apply to every non-profit that I considered supporting:

1. Sustainability
2. Inclusion
3. Educational Impact

It was the Gantt Center's ability to meet and surpass my personal criteria that has inspired me to be a consistent Harper-Roddey donor. My first real introduction to the Gantt was an invitation from a friend to attend the Jeanne Moutoussamy photography exhibit. The historical and educational insight that I received from the artist inspired me to become a member that day.

The Gantt continued to win my heart and loyalty with exhibits such as America I Am, The Kinsey Collection and most recently, Question Bridge.

The Gantt has proven it's sustainability by continuing to garner financial support for an array of exhibits and executing them with sheer perfection.

The inclusiveness is evident, not only from the exhibits, but the donors and members who support the Gantt and the various walks of life that they represent.

The educational impact is the most visible and rewarding strength of the Gantt. The library days that occur on the weekends as well as numerous events that allow youth and adults to learn about and appreciate other cultures.

The most important thing to remember about philanthropy is that your identified charity needs more than your financial support. It needs your time, talent and treasure. So I leave all philanthropists and aspiring philanthropists with this challenge; find a cause you are passionate about and embrace it support it and commit to it.

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© 2014 The Harvey B. Gantt Center for African-American Arts + Culture. All rights reserved.

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The Gantt Center is located at Levine Center for the Arts and supported by the North Carolina Arts Council and the Arts & Science Council.

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Please direct questions or comments to Kris Cole, Development Manager at (704) 547-3781 or

The Harvey B. Gantt Center for African-American Arts + Culture
at Levine Center for the Arts
551 South Tryon Street
Charlotte, NC 28202
(704) 547-3700