Thursday, July 12, 2007 | Last month, close to 500 of San Diego’s most generous citizens gathered at The Museum of Man in Balboa Park. The occasion?

A birthday party. Why is that newsworthy? It wasn’t just anyone’s birthday. It was the 40th anniversary of our vibrant, principled and effective philanthropic institution: the San Diego Jewish Community Foundation.

This is an organization that has grown tremendously, exemplifies exceptional governance, creates meaning for over 625 individual, family and organizational members, connects philanthropists and causes and is the largest grantmaker in San Diego. To the tune of about $400 million over the last 40 years to both Jewish and secular non-profits, while simultaneously developing the next generation of philanthropists. Is that not awe inspiring?

At a time when most of our attention is drawn to those nonprofit organizations who miss the mark, wouldn’t it be educational, hopeful and heartwarming to profile one that exceeds it?

And, they are right here in our own front yard.

Liz Shear is the director of the University of San Diego Annual Nonprofit Governance Institute.

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