Philanthropy is a Greek word. When translated literally it means “love of mankind.” Businessdictionary.com defines philanthropy as “an idea, event, or action that is done to better humanity and usually involves some sacrifice as opposed to being done for a profit motive.”
Philanthropy is often divided into three categories, “time, treasury and talent.”
One person might have more time than another to volunteer at a therapeutic riding center. Another individual might work a 60-plus hour week, but have a significant salary that enables him or her to make financial contributions. A third person might have the skills and strength to build stalls or fix fencing. All three are equally vital to the main mission of giving back. The beauty is that the nature of the “gift” can align with each person’s strengths—their time, finances or talents.
“The horse industry is based on a luxury business,” said Adam D’Agostino, head coach of the Albion College Equestrian Team. “As a professional when you give back, you’re supporting sectors of the business that rely on the good will and time of trainers to thrive.”
Participating in philanthropic activities ranges from donating money to volunteering or organizing fundraisers to support a specific cause. In the horse industry that could mean giving money to a youth club. Or it could be encouraging a youth club to collect canned food items and donate them to a local pantry. It could also mean spending time at a rescue to help clean stalls or groom horses. It could be holding a tack swap to raise funds for a research foundation or scholarship fund.
Regardless of the asset you bring to the cause, the ultimate goal is to improve the larger community. The exciting thing is that there are countless ways to do so. It starts with selecting a benefactor (an individual, a club, an organization, etc.) and finding out what is needed most.
In this series, we'll look at some specific ways you can give back through your role in the horse industry.