Experiencing a city like Portland doesn’t just happen by accident. From our creative neighborhoods to our lush urban forests, we are proud of the environment in which we live. We have some of the best music and arts on earth. We are humane and care for one another. We ride bikes and offer random acts of kindness to strangers. We love animals.
Portland is an ever-changing city made up of immigrants and innovators, entrepreneurs and freaks, geeks and truth seekers — all collectively working to make the city and the world we live in a better place. We live in neighborhoods that connect to one another, doing the best we can to take on some of the toughest issues that make up a great society. Many of these issues are taken up by Portland’s robust nonprofit sector.
Is all of this enough to be content? Absolutely not. We have miles and miles to go on a long journey to achieve real greatness and equality. We will continue, one generation to the next, seeking justice and a better quality of life.
Thousands upon thousands of individuals contribute in small ways to make Portland what it is. Possibly, you work or give to a good cause yourself. Possibly, you have a friend or family member dedicated to improving the world around us and you support them by giving a donation to something they work so hard towards. Maybe it’s political, or a feeling of social responsibility.
The reasons for giving back the community are many. Hundreds of nonprofits are doing amazing work on any number of important issues.
According to a recent report from the Oregon Community Foundation, individual giving by Oregonians shows signs of recovery from the recession. Oregonians, across income levels, are giving more generously than national averages. Oregon continues to rank in the top 20 states for charitable giving. In 2010, Multnomah County residents gave nearly $765 million to nonprofits. That’s impressive.
If you are a longtime philanthropist, or this is the first year you have given a donation, thank you. Your amazing efforts continue to inspire.
If you have never given before, or are on the fence this holiday season, we challenge you to step up to the plate this year and give a donation to your favorite cause. Even a modest figure makes a real and concrete difference to the city you live and the peers you admire.
Engagement and support doesn’t always mean money. It can begin by simply paying attention to your peer network’s social media posts or having a conversation over beers with friends about their favorite groups. You can check out local foundations website or tune into projects like Willamette Week Give!Guide where more than a hundred nonprofits are highlighted.
The reality is that giving is fun. It’s easy, and there’s not a person alive who doesn’t feel good after giving a donation to a group they are connected too. More importantly, it’s contributing to making the city we love a better place.