A Story of Love and Giving Back
This week in philanthropy, we will view giving back as more than a kind act, but as a love story that has spanned seven decades and remains steady and strong today.
Herbert Irving didn’t think that as the Sysco Corporation, a vendor for food service providers, grew, it would give him the opportunity to dive into philanthropy. He was able to give back to the hospital that has helped him and his wife of 70 years, Florence Irving, continue on in their 75-year-old love story. In a piece written by Melanie Grayce West for The Wall Street Journal, Herbert, Sysco co-founder and former vice chairman, explains that he and Florence have given nearly $200 million to the Columbia University Medical Center during the last several years because they were “very poor once, and we wanted to help.”
On June 4, Columbia University Medical Center and New York-Presbyterian Hospital/Columbia announced that the Irvings gave another gift of $40 million to support the Herbert Irving Comprehensive Cancer Center. The couple, now in their 90s, is reportedly Columbia University Medical Center’s leading benefactors. At BiddingForGood, we are big believers that contributing toward social good is big business and think it is important for successful business people to do their part.
The Irvings were married in the Depression years and money was hard to come by. Americans today are also suffering as a result of the Great Recession and corporate charitable giving is down. According to the annual Corporate Giving Standard Survey by the Committee Encouraging Corporate Philanthropy, the median level of corporate giving was $24.4 million in 2011, down from $24.6 million in 2010. Dan Kadlec of TIME, writes that 68 percent of corporations have increased their giving, nearly half by more than 10 percent. They’re doing so by giving larger gifts to fewer causes, matching gifts given by their employees and by giving internationally.
Within the U.S., charities in 30 cities were ranked by Charity Navigator, a company that works to guide intelligent giving. Houston took the No. 1 spot on the list, their overall performance judged through the inclusion of program expenses, donor privacy and total expenses. Check out who else made the top 10 in this slideshow from The Huffington Post.
If you’re interested in doing a little charitable giving yourself, we have thousands of items up for bid on our website. Don’t forget that Father’s Day is just around the bend. Here's a chance to give back and give Dad something he will love.