November 14, 1986

By the President of the United States of America

A Proclamation

The literal meaning of  "philanthropy'' is "affection for mankind.'' Throughout our history, we Americans have displayed this trait through our generous charitable giving and our spirit of neighbor helping neighbor. We help each other, and we reach out to help people all over the world. Our tradition of voluntarism embodies a great deal of caring, initiative, and ingenuity in solving problems and improving our communities. It is one of our greatest strengths as a people.

The record of our private sector giving is clear. Our country has more than 800,000 nonprofit philanthropic organizations. They employ more than 10 million people, of whom 4.5 million are volunteers. In 1985 alone, individual Americans, corporations, and foundations contributed almost $80 billion for the charitable work of these organizations, an increase of nearly 9 percent over the previous year's generous total. These efforts are augmented by the volunteer work of nearly half of all teenage and adult Americans; in 1985, 89 million of us each volunteered an average of 3.5 hours every week to help worthy causes.

We can be very grateful to the philanthropic individuals and organizations who have contributed so much to our social welfare, our cultural life, and the improvement of our communities. We can be grateful as well for our American spirit of giving from the heart. And one of the best ways to express our gratitude, of course, is to follow the good and great example of those who see needs and meet them with "affection for mankind.''

The Congress, by Senate Joint Resolution 207, has designated November 15, 1986, as "National Philanthropy Day'' and authorized and requested the President to issue a proclamation in observance of this event.

Now, Therefore, I, Ronald Reagan, President of the United States of America, do hereby proclaim November 15, 1986, as National Philanthropy Day. I call on the American people and organizations of every kind to observe this day with appropriate ceremonies and activities to recognize the enormous achievements of all who have given of themselves for others, and to rededicate ourselves to the great tasks ahead.

In Witness Whereof, I have hereunto set my hand this fourteenth day of November, in the year of our Lord nineteen hundred and eighty-six, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and eleventh.

Ronald Reagan

[Filed with the Office of the Federal Register, 4:33 p.m., November 14, 1986]