Thank you to the anonymous donors: Celebrating Nonprofit Day

An anonymous cash donation received in August 2023. Photo: Liz Joseph

In a world where selfless acts of kindness often go unnoticed, there exists a profound beauty in those who choose to make a difference quietly, without seeking recognition or praise.

At the Center for Disaster Philanthropy, we have been profoundly touched and uplifted by the generosity of numerous anonymous donors. National Nonprofit Day provides us the perfect opportunity to express our deep gratitude and shine a light on the remarkable impact of anonymous giving.

The unsung heroes

Throughout my three years at CDP, anonymous donations have regularly arrived by mail, through donor-advised funds and via online gifts. From a humble $20 bill and three singles dedicated to our Hurricane Zeta efforts to an additional $20 for tornado relief in the Southern United States and $22 for winter storm recovery, these gifts have helped further CDP’s mission.

Some of these gifts, including a crisp $100 bill, clearly come from the same donor. Postmarked in St. Paul, Minnesota, these regular anonymous cash donations arrive with consistent handwriting, conveying warm wishes and words of encouragement. Each comes with some kind words on the envelope. As an organization, we are a group of dedicated professionals that read heartbreaking daily news about vulnerabilities and hazards intersecting to form various disasters. A few kind words can go a long way.

These gestures have showcased unwavering support for our cause and remind us that we are not alone in our mission to strengthen communities and help them recover equitably from disasters.

National Nonprofit Day

National Nonprofit Day traces back to Aug. 17, 1894, when the United States Congress passed the Tariff Act, granting tax-exempt status to nonprofit and charitable organizations. While the Tariff Act may have put things in motion for our country’s culture of supporting nonprofits, it is the collective efforts of countless individuals, both known and anonymous, that continue to drive positive change today. The anonymous giving exemplified by our donors stands as a testament to the power of philanthropy, showcasing the potential for transformative impact within each of us.

A heartfelt thank you

“Legacy. What is a legacy? It’s planting seeds in a garden you never get to see.” – Lin-Manuel Miranda, from the musical “Hamilton”

On this Nonprofit Day, we extend our deepest appreciation to all the anonymous donors who have supported CDP and organizations like ours throughout the years. We understand and respect your decision to remain anonymous, acknowledging that it is driven by humility and a genuine desire to make a difference without seeking recognition.

Your unwavering support and anonymous contributions have made it possible for us to direct financial and technical assistance where it is needed most, bringing hope to communities in their most vulnerable moments. The magnitude of your generosity is immeasurable, and while we may never meet face-to-face, please know that your compassion has touched countless individuals’ lives.

Today, we honor our invisible benefactors and express our gratitude for their unwavering support. Together, let us embody the spirit of generosity, compassion and selflessness that defines the essence of philanthropy, forging a world where kindness knows no boundaries and the light of anonymous giving continues to illuminate countless lives.