This year marks two years in a row that one of my nieces aced the 3rd Indiana iRead test. Aced it. As in 100% on a state test. Pretty remarkable. Or perhaps I think it’s remarkable because I could never have aced the iRead test when I was in 3rd grade. Why? Because I was a Red Devil.
Maybe they still do it, but back in the day, Reading Groups were all the rage. It made sense. Give the students a pre- test, find out what reading level they were on, and group them accordingly. This is where theory and practice wreak havoc. In theory, it had some educational legs to stand on and seemed relatively efficient. In practice, I was in the low reading group and everyone knew it.
I was in a group with a bunch of cootie-ridden boys. As the sole girl in the group, when it came time to vote on our reading group name, they all thought the Red Devils would be amazing. Me, not so much. I was outvoted.
Later in my school career, I watched friends excel in art and music, some were Spelling Bee champs, others were trophy-winning athletes. There were many standard ways the world measured (and measures) success, but I wasn’t even using the same ruler the world was using.
Imagine if we judged Indiana based on the weather in January or leadership merely based on this year’s presidential candidates. Alas, Einstein’s wisdom prevails yet again proving that not everything that can be counted counts and not everything that counts can be counted.
So, yeah, maybe I could never have won the school talent show, but I could have organized the biggest, best talent show ever to grace a Mississinewa stage! Multiple intelligences make the world go round! Of course, we need some Martha Stewarts, but where would we be without a few McGyvers? It’s never really been about how smart you are anyway, it’s always been about how you are smart.
That is what’s so great about community foundations, too. There’s not just one way to be generous. You get to choose based on where your passion lies. With over 400 different funds at the Community Foundation of Grant County, your generosity can be dedicated to the exact non-profit or cause that you love the most. It’s not one-size-fits-all! Just like 401k’s are Future Living Funds, endowments are Future Giving Funds—because endowments are forever funds that benefit your charity of choice forever!
Want even more philanthropic freedom? Donor-Advised Funds are popular future giving funds that allow you to give now and make grants later to any charity you choose—even different charities every year. You can easily open a donor-advised fund, name it after your family or business, and donate to your very own endowment annually just like you would your 401k—except donations to charity are tax-deductible! Next thing you know, you’ll be able to make grants whenever your heart desires to the charities that you love most.
It’s actually pretty cool that we’re all gifted differently—intellectually and charitably. It would be pretty boring if we lived in a cookie cutter world. I’d like to think that Albert Einstein knew that. I’d also like to think that he would have been a Red Devil, too.