Giving Back closing reception on March 23

MRG Foundation brought the traveling exhibit Giving Back: The Soul of Philanthropy, Reframed and Exhibited to Portland and the Pacific NW to challenge us all to see philanthropy differently. GRANTMAKERS partnered on marketing the exhibit to the philanthropic community. On March 23, MRG Foundation will host a closing ceremony at Concordia University. The celebration will feature stories of philanthropy and performances by local artists.

In a recent press announcement, MRG Executive Director Roberta Phillip-Robbins described Giving Back as “a celebration of philanthropy and as a physical representation of our values,” going on to say that “the exhibit served as a gathering place for us to listen, learn, and connect. We shared the space with individuals and families, community partners, student groups, and our funder colleagues. It served as a platform for diving deeper into our understanding of civic engagement, giving, and privilege. And for me personally it was an opportunity to challenge traditional definitions of philanthropy by understanding, through stories, the generosity of Americans of African descent; stories rooted in centuries-old cultural customs and beliefs about giving; stories that reveal the long and unsung legacy of Black philanthropists—from generous donors of wealth to ingenious givers carving a way out of no way.”

Giving Back will be at Concordia University through the end of March. GRANTMAKERS of Oregon and Southwest Washington partnered with MRG to market this exhibit because we are committed to developing new and diverse philanthropies. While our primary focus is on institutional philanthropy, we recognize the value of the contributions made by individuals and the power of small gifts of time, talent, and treasure. Our Vision 2020 Strategic Plan, Who We Are, describes the characteristics of the future of philanthropy: 


  • new philanthropic programs are created; 
  • individuals are engaged in philanthropy and the grantmaking community;
  • philanthropy involves a diversity of partnerships;
  • emerging generations are meaningfully engaged in giving;
  • and philanthropy changes to reflect the demographic changes in the region. 

The book that Giving Back is based upon emphasizes the engagement of individuals and the importance of every generation’s gifts. The author and photographer revealed at the Opening Reception in January that they  were inspired to create a giving circle through the process of completing the book. We can’t imagine a more perfect alignment with our goal of encouraging philanthropy that reflects the community it serves and engages new generations of givers. We encourage all of our members and anyone who is interested in philanthropy to attend this event. Registration is open through the MRG Foundation website.