Reid: The ripple effects of charitable giving
Ryan Summerlin April 17, 2013
The dictionary defines the ripple effect as the continuing and spreading results of an event or action. We’ve all seen it – whether on a lake after a pebble has been tossed, or in our own lives when someone’s actions have affected others. After undertaking an urgent fundraising campaign to preserve Keystone Science School, we are thankful and heartened to see this effect spreading beyond us and into the larger community. The goodwill generated during that campaign is now rippling out through the stories of charitable giving throughout Summit County and beyond. In December of last year, Keystone Science School (KSS) asked friends and supporters from across the country for help. The task at hand was to raise significant funds to purchase the historic 23-acre science school campus and become an independent non-profit organization. During our two month campaign, the call for support inspired more than 255 philanthropists from 26 states and 2 countries to give. Of that, 151 were new donors to KSS. Statistics show that when a new donor gives to one organization, they tend to give to others in the community. Giving begets giving just as a rock thrown in a pond forms multiple and expanding concentric circles of energy. Everyone at KSS continues to be humbled by the outpouring of support. And, we witnessed the effects of those charitable gifts elsewhere.Our lead donor, Ty Pennington (a Breckenridge resident, not the bull rider or TV carpenter), recently re-entered the public world of philanthropy. What started as a gift to support our Legacy Camp program for children grieving a lost family member expanded to a lead donor role for our campaign to ensure the long-term success of the school. While at the Legacy Camp in the fall, Ty saw firsthand how his gift was making a difference and that inspired him to seek other opportunities to give. Since that experience, Ty has provided significant financial support, not only to KSS but to The Summit Foundation, Advocates for Victims of Assault, and other area non-profits. There’s no way to be sure, but we hope his experience with Keystone Science School had some kind of impact on his decision to give to other organizations – a ‘philanthropic’ ripple effect. We’ve also been the lucky recipient of the ripple effect from other organizations in the community. The law firm of West Brown Huntley Hunter & Teodoru jumped into the project with many hours of pro-bono expertise and legal guidance. Their charitable acts will continue to ripple positive energy community wide for years to come. The Science School is moving forward now as an independent non-profit – one of many organizations in Summit County that works to make the world a better place. While we recognize the immense support we received, we’re grateful that it extends beyond the reach of our campus boundaries and we hope it inspires even more people to give. Start your own ripple effect. You never know how far the circles will go. Ellen Reid is the Executive Director at Keystone Science School. To learn more about Keystone Science School, visit www.keystonescienceschool.org.