Behind the Smile

February 6, 2017



Written By: Jim Mellor

By Jim Mellor

Donor Love Graphic

This month, the Donor By Design Team has love and appreciation on our minds… specifically how we “love up” our donors. Today’s topic: looking what’s behind your donor’s smile.


It’s February, the month that we think of those who we love and who bring us joy! This month, I’m thinking of Mary Tyler Moore, a woman who brought great joy to millions of TV viewers for decades in the Dick Van Dyke Show and the Mary Tyler Moore Show.

Through her portrayal of characters who challenged the status quo, Moore became a cultural icon and served as an inspiration to a generation of actors, professional women, and feminists. She accomplished all of this and brought wonderful humor and laughter to millions of viewers each week. America was in love with her.

Moore also was a leader in philanthropy. She served as International Chair of the JDRF, formerly the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation, and was a strong advocate for animal rights. Her impact and leadership in diabetes, ASPCA, and Farm Sanctuary were enormous.

Besides being an endearing actress and a dedicated philanthropist, Mary Tyler Moore accomplished much while battling personal tragedy.  While making America laugh, she was dealing with her own diabetes, the loss of her son, three marriages, alcoholism, and the loss of her mother. How both tragic and wonderful, that a talented individual can accomplish so much, make so many laugh, be happy, and be a philanthropic leader.

Moore’s story reminds us that our donors have many successes in their life, but likely have personal challenges as well. To fully understand, appreciate and support our donors, we should strive to understand the entire person. Knowing their challenges will also give us insight as to what causes they are passionate about. Do you have a “Mary” for a donor? You probably know their successes, but do you know their challenges?

At Donor By Design, we celebrate individuals who overcome personal barriers to make the world smile and make it a better place for all.

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