Giving philanthropically can be overwhelming — there are worthy causes all around us. Where to start?
“There are many nonprofits doing good work and it can be difficult to determine which one to donate to,” says Bob Wittig, executive director of the Catalogue for Philanthropy, a local agency that helps non-profits increase their visibility, raise funds and provides professional development at no cost to the partners.
For donors, the Catalogue (founded in 2003) helps vet and select the region’s best nonprofits each year.
“When a donor sees the Catalogue seal, they know this is an organization with high impacts and financial sustainability,” Wittig says. “Donors can contribute to a nonprofit that may be new to them with peace of mind.”
The giving season kicks off with Giving Tuesday (Nov. 27). The Catalogue is D.C.’s Giving Tuesday community leader and will feature about 200 local nonprofits during the 24-hour giving period. To donate, visit cfp-dc.org. Also consider making a donation to the Catalogue. Every dollar given raises $4 for its partner organizations, Wittig says.
“Philanthropy and giving back have always been important to me,” the 57-year-old Green Bay, Wis., native says. “For me, philanthropy is a tangible way that I can help others by supporting a nonprofit’s mission work.”
Wittig came to Washington in 1989 wanting to work in the nonprofit sector after grad school. He has a boyfriend, lives in Bloomingdale and enjoys travel (he’s been to six continents) and watching “I Love Lucy” reruns with his daughter Kayla in his free time.
How long have you been out and who was the hardest person to tell?
I’ve been out since 1989. The hardest person to tell was my mother. I’m glad to say that she’s been my biggest champion and supporter.
Who’s your LGBT hero?
What’s Washington’s best nightspot, past or present?
Describe your dream wedding.
Marrying someone I love will be a dream wedding for me.
What non-LGBT issue are you most passionate about?
What historical outcome would you change?
There’s a lot I’d like to change but currently it’s the creation of the electoral college.
What’s been the most memorable pop culture moment of your lifetime?
Going to Madonna’s “Who’s That Girl” concert in Milwaukee, Wis., in the late ‘80s. I had to beg someone to go with me. It was me and my co-worker and thousands of teen-aged girls dressed as Madonna. I loved it!
On what do you insist?
Actions and words matter.
What was your last Facebook post or Tweet?
A picture of my teenage daughter’s hair dyed green.
If your life were a book, what would the title be?
“Wherever I Go, There I Am”
If science discovered a way to change sexual orientation, what would you do?
Insist that it be locked away in a closet.
What do you believe in beyond the physical world?
I identify as Buddhist, so I guess I will keep coming back again and again until I get it all together!
What’s your advice for LGBT movement leaders?
Keep working to advance the rights of transgender people.
What would you walk across hot coals for?
I couldn’t bring myself to walk across hot coals, sorry!
What LGBT stereotype annoys you most?
Being LGBTQ+ is a choice.
What’s your favorite LGBT movie?
What’s the most overrated social custom?
Christmas — it’s way too commercialized for me. I would be happy with no presents and just spending time with people I love. (My teenaged daughter saw this response and totally disagrees!)
What trophy or prize do you most covet?
Wining the Advancement in Management (AIM) award which recognizes excellence in nonprofit management.
What do you wish you’d known at 18?
That before I knew it, I’d be 57.
So much culture and diversity. It’s been a great place to be a gay man and to raise a child. My daughter has had way more cultural experiences at her age than I’ve had during my lifetime because she’s growing up in D.C.