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Jun 07, 2024 MOST Staff

Anonymous Donors: Silently Supporting Opportunity

There are many reasons donors support non-profits like M.O.S.T.

While there are a few who donate to see their names on plaques and annual reports, most don’t even think about this when allocating their charitable giving dollars. They give because of trust in the mission and methods of the organization; they do it to support a community with which they identify; they do it for their faith; they donate as an investment in their city. In reality, most philanthropists are motivated by a nuanced combination of all of these factors and more.

Some prefer to give anonymously. Most of the time, those of us who work behind the scenes at the organization know who they are and have personal relationships with anonymous donors. Driven only by their urge to increase the impact a non-profit can produce through its work, they embody generosity in its purest form. Giving for the sake of giving.

“My wife and I were watching late night television, and a television minister by the name of Dr. Gene Scott was preaching on Malechi 3:8-11, which is about tithing,” a M.O.S.T. anonymous donor said in a recent conversation. “We both had a profound response to these ideas and decided to make that change and start tithing. And it just changed my life.”

For this particular anonymous donor, philanthropy is an act directly tied to embodying the ideals of his faith. One of the Universal Laws in Christian theology states it plainly; one must give to receive.

“I believe you should put your money where your mouth is when it comes to faith. You know, faith can be talked about a lot. But when someone contributes by tithing, you make this idea part of your way of life,” he said. “Looking back at my career, I see God's hand in my success. I feel like it was really all his doing and none of mine. To date we've given approximately 35 percent of our net worth away.”

A great deal of the couple’s giving has been directed at non-profits whose missions can be viewed as reinvestments in Memphis. They see education as a key driver of this reinvestment, and M.O.S.T. Scholarships as particularly important because of the focus on offering options for families. Because no single education model is effective for every type of learner, offering students an array of options to meet the unique needs of each student is vital to saturating the entire city with up-and-coming talent.

“The M.O.S.T. program is extremely well designed,” he said. “The scholarships that come from this program can make any dream become a reality for deserving children and I think that is wonderful. That’s the reason that we're contributing to M.O.S.T.”

“Our philosophy about giving is that it’s our job to give, and it's the job of the organizations we support to spend that money wisely,” the donor said. “I pray every day that God makes me a great steward of his money. So, that's what we're trying to do. And as long as we're doing this, M.O.S.T. is going to be on our on our list.”

Published by MOST Staff June 7, 2024