Daniel Padnos, Board Member
Doing more with more
My family has a long and strong tradition of giving. Whether to the community of our faith or to the community in which we lived, giving back has always been a part of our identity and a part of what we do. So for me, the question has never been whether to give, but to whom I should give.
I came of age at the very time of the Stonewall resistance in New York City and the movement that followed. It didn’t take long before I found myself getting involved with organizations dedicated to improving the lives of LGBTQ people here and elsewhere. And the organizations I joined always received a portion of my income, no matter how small.
As I grew older, my circumstances changed in a way that allowed me to give more. I gave to amfAR because they were funding critical research that led and still leads to beneficial treatments and cures. I gave to The Center because I know how important it is to have a place to go for help when you need it, and to be with others like yourself when that is what you need. But I was always torn as to how much to give to this one or that one, and whether I was leaving out areas of critical need. Of course, I couldn’t support all of them; no one can. So every December I wrote a few checks, and hoped I was doing the right thing.
Then I was introduced to Stonewall Community Foundation. Over time I came to understand and appreciate the process by which Stonewall leverages the expertise of the community it serves to identify initiatives that stand to make the deepest impact. I still give to the charities I mentioned earlier, and I hope I’ll always be able to. However, the biggest share of my giving goes to Stonewall, because I know those dollars will enable vital groups to keep on going, to do the work that government cannot and will not do, to make sure the most vulnerable are not being left behind.