It was inspiring to read the editorial on Warren Buffett and your endorsement of his philanthropic actions. Those of us at the Toledo Community Foundation always say that you don't need to be a Rockefeller to give back to the community through a fund at the foundation. Perhaps now we should change that to say you don't need to be a Buffett!
Fact is, everyone can and should give back to our community. We all will be charitable in some way when we die - either to the government or to our family and community. Your estate planning or lack thereof will determine who decides that for us.
Even better, perhaps, the best lesson from Mr. Buffett's actions is to plan and to support your community here and now. Make a choice to put philanthropy into action in a way that meets your values and shapes your community for the better.
It doesn't take billions to make a difference. As Americans, we have seen it time and time again that when people act philanthropically it inspires others to do the same. The capacity for people to be generous is immeasurable in our community.
Just as Mr. Buffett joined forces with Bill and Melinda Gates to achieve his philanthropic goals, the Toledo Community Foundation offers everyone in our community who wants to make a difference a strategic partnership to fulfill their goals as well.
While a lot has been and will be written about Mr. Buffett's legacy through philanthropy, let's not forget that each of us should and could create the same value in a legacy with philanthropy with our families and our community - and it doesn't take someone's death to begin. You can give back now, because you don't have to be a Buffett to make a difference.