On any given day, every individual has the propensity to be of service to someone else. That’s a belief held by many of the world’s leading philanthropists and the inspiration behind a new card deck by Bridge Philanthropic Consulting (BPC), the nation's only full-service Black-Owned social justice and fundraising firm. 'The Art of Good Deeds,' includes 52 cards for performing a good deed each week for one year and was created to dispel the myth that philanthropy is only for the wealthy.
“The concept for the card deck has lived in my mind for quite some time, as I’ve always incorporated charitable acts into my day-to-day life, especially regarding giving to my family,” says BPC CEO, Dwayne Ashley. The author of Eight Steps to Raising Money: Measuring Your Fundraising Impact cites a gift he made to his cousin several years ago as an impactful moment in his life’s trajectory.
As a single mother, taking care of three children, his cousin’s reliance on public transportation compelled him to help her by purchasing her a car. “I admired her strength, I knew that was no easy task,” Ashley says. The act of gifting her the car— which left him feeling immense joy—led him to start thinking of how else he could help family members in need. Over the years, the sporadic good deeds that he carried out became more intentional, and he realized that philanthropy was not reserved for those with money, but instead, everyone who chooses to be of help to others.
“Most people within the Black community don’t consider themselves philanthropists because they believe giving to family doesn’t count, but that is also a form of charity. Philanthropy isn’t about receiving a tax deduction but rather the feeling of happiness you receive knowing you’ve helped someone in need,” explains Ashley.
The New Yorker hopes that the cards will encourage everyday people to fuse charitable acts into their daily routine. He also wants others who demonstrate philanthropy by giving to their family to be more self-aware of their impact and the happiness they’re spreading. He calls the cards a “tangible reminder” of that. “With the creation of this deck, I hope that participants understand that anyone can make a difference no matter how big or small,” Ashley says. “When you have a giving spirit, you too are a philanthropist.”