Recently, we reached out to Shelli Ross, donor advised fund holder and ACT supporter, to learn about her approach to giving.
Why is being generous important to you? What inspired you to give back?
It’s important to share what I have with those who do not have. I am fortunate and want to help those who are not as fortunate. It really does help people. It’s always important to support good causes. You can help people become more independent, self-actualize; do for themselves. Also, I want to help organizations fund their programs and complete their missions.
I am part of the Equal Justice Initiative/Alexandria Community Remembrance Project serving on the soil and marker committee. So I’ve added racial justice to my volunteering and philanthropy.
Has the experience of giving back moved you personally or professionally, or given you a new perspective?
I have always been involved, being part of the community. I became a social worker to help other people. I could see the results at the school where I worked. I could see how my support made a difference. Giving back gives me a sense of purpose that’s larger than me.
It can be enlightening and hopeful. It’s enlightening to learn about all kinds of people and their lives.
It gives me a new perspective – to see how complicated it is to run these organizations.
What advice would you give someone looking to get involved and make a positive impact?
Get involved: volunteer, go to a community foundation like ACT and get involved and learn more about the community. I have participated in the allyship workshops hosted by ACT. I volunteer with Carpenter’s Shelter; I cook for them occasionally and make donations of food, etc. It’s helpful to become acquainted with the people in the community. It’s a way to educate yourself. Try to set goals for yourself. Do you want to give financially and volunteer? Do you want to initiate a project. It’s good to focus your philanthropy.
Why did you select ACT as a partner?
Giving thru ACT is a way to serve my own community. Sometimes people don’t want to go through the work necessary to look up info about organizations. Joining a community foundation, you don’t have to do much. ACT can do the work for you. Investing thru ACT helps you see where the opportunities truly lie. I know that my donations are being put to good use.