Author Tracy Gary Kicks Off Donor-Inspired “Discover the Joy of Giving” Series

GivingSARASOTA (January 13, 2015) – Local philanthropist Harry Leopold had an idea to put together a series of events to inspire other members of the community to take a detailed look at how they can support different initiatives through charitable giving. On Monday, Leopold’s idea became reality as the “Discover the Joy of Giving” series launched with Tracy Gary, author of America’s bestselling book on philanthropy, who discussed “The Purpose and the Power of Giving” in front of a sold-out crowd at USF Sarasota-Manatee.


Photos from the Discover the Joy of Giving Series


The series, inspired by Leopold, is a collaborative effort among USFSM, the Lifelong Learning Academy and the Leopold Institute for Philanthropic Studies featuring inspiring conversations with top national and local experts on the joy of giving.

At the end of Gary’s presentation, attendees were able to vote on distributing a $5,000 grant to a local, non-profit organization of their choice. The gift, part of $25,000 donated by the Leopold Institute for Philanthropic Studies, was issued to Meals on Wheels of Sarasota, Inc.

Individuals of all ages and from all walks of life are invited to participate and meet others who wish to learn about the relationship between giving, happiness and health; how to discover their true philanthropic passions; where to find resources to help with their giving; how to leave a legacy, and more. Each session is designed to build a growing base of knowledge and insights toward making personal decisions that are both meaningful and impactful.

One of the key values that USF Sarasota-Manatee embraces is social, economic and environmental sustainability, and personal philanthropy is a huge component of what makes our local communities thrive and endure. The “Discover the Joy of Giving” series has the potential to grow into certificate and academic offerings at the university. The Lifelong Learning Academy also believes this series addresses an area of education they have not previously offered and will inspire scholarship, research and innovation in philanthropy that will benefit the entire community.

“Discover the Joy of Giving” is moderated by Kelley Lavin, group publisher of Sarasota Magazine, Biz(941) and Venice Magazine.

Each educational program in the series features a nationally or locally renowned expert on philanthropy:

The four remaining events in the series are:

January 26: Finding your Passion for Giving with Bill Church, executive editor of the Herald-Tribune Media Group.

February 2: The Joy of Living through Giving with Bob and Diane Roskamp, Sarasota philanthropists and founders of the Roskamp Institute and Roskamp Foundation.

February 9: The Charitable Impulse with James Joseph, former ambassador, presidential Cabinet member, businessman, educator, philanthropy expert and professor at Duke University.

February 19: Giving as Fuel for Life with Alison Powell of the Bridgespan Group, co-producer of the “Conversations with Remarkable Givers” video project.

As an additional charitable component of the series, participants are invited to vote on five local nonprofits to each receive a $5,000 grant from the Leopold Institute for Philanthropic Studies fund at the Community Foundation of Sarasota County. Following each lecture, there will be a presentation by one of those nonprofits, representing arts and culture, health and human services, families and children, wellness and older adults.

Sponsors of “Discover the Joy of Giving” include: Hirtle Callaghan & Co; Sarasota Magazine; Community Foundation of Sarasota County; Muirhead, Gaylor, Steves & Waskom, P.A.; Shutts & Bowen LLP and Whitebox Mutual Funds.