Monday, November 10, 2008

Yes We Can.

Election 2008 was a truly historic event with the victory of America’s first African/American President. Excitement filled the air and tens of thousands of Obama supporters gathered in Grant Park, in Chicago to hear his victory speech. The message was one of hope. Though there is much to do to get America back on track, we can pull together and through our hard work, look forward to a brighter future.

President-elect Barack Obama began his speech:

"If there is anyone out there who still doubts that America is a place where all things are possible; who still wonders if the dream of our founders is alive in our time; who still questions the power of our democracy, tonight is your answer…

…It’s been a long time coming, but tonight, because of what we did on this day, in this election, at this defining moment, change has come to America.”

The speech went on to tell the story of Ann Nixon Cooper an African/American woman of 106 years, who was born just a generation past the time of slavery. He told of the many times she was told “you can’t” in her lifetime. Conversely, the words “yes we can,” was the fitting climax to this hard fought victory that will hopefully put an end to racism in this country. These words of optimism brought tears to the eyes of many in the crowd.

Though there is much to do to repair our financial and political systems, there is great hope in the words of our new President Barack Obama. It is this spirit of optimism that propels nonprofit organizations to forge ahead in the momentous task of raising funds for so many noble causes.
The question remains, will those who make large donations hold back on their donations because of the battered economy? According to the latest study An Analysis of Million Dollar Gifts January 2000 – September 2007 from “The Center on Philanthropy” at Indiana University, “Self-made wealth holders make the most gifts. Just over forty percent of the donors making gifts of $1 million or more are ‘self-made’ millionaires. This includes entrepreneurs, investors, and real estate developers. ‘Self-made’ wealthy donors gave several times more, on average, than donors with paychecks or donors with inherited wealth.”Of course, 47% of those who voted in this election, voted for the Republican candidate, John McCaine. Will President-elect Obama be able to unite both his supporters and those who voted against him? On Tuesday, many believed the words of Barack Obama, that he could. What are your thoughts?