National Philanthropy Day - KULR-8 Television, Billings, MT

National Philanthropy Day

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BILLINGS -

Friday is National Philanthropy Day and local philanthropists say fundraising is important for the community.

Organizations, like the Alberta Bair Theater, say much of their funding comes from philanthropic sources. The theater's executive director says for them, it's roughly 30 to 40 percent, a critical source of funding.

"But it's the things that aren't as visible that we have to do every day and that we do for the community," said William Wood, Alberta Bair Theater executive director. "Things like supporting the public schools and some of their education programs. We bring 25,000 students from around Montana to events at the theater. Those are not financially able to support themselves"

The Association of Fundraising Professionals recognizes people's fundraising efforts, and a past award recipient says fundraising is a group effort.

"It'd be great to say that it was all me but in truth it wasn't all me," said Kathie Riggs, who received an award from AFP in 2006. "I had the most incredible volunteers behind me for that campaign for five years."

These community members say philanthropy shapes our city.

"Without those philanthropic dollars and volunteer hours, our community would look a whole lot different and our state would look a whole lot different," Riggs said. "I mean it just enables you to do a whole lot more to have that support."

"We really do appreciate this community, I've never seen an individual community that's as generous from top to bottom as Billings is," Wood said.

On November 19th, the AFP is recognizing a half dozen people and organizations from the community for their fundraising and philanthropic success.

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