Mary Poppins and the Chairman's Challenge

by Beth Boney Jenkins

In the classic Disney movie “Mary Poppins,” young Michael Banks is presented with a tough decision: whether to invest his tuppence wisely in the bank, or to use that same tuppence to feed the birds. 

As banker Dick van Dyke explains to a skeptical Michael, tuppence safely invested in the bank will compound to achieve amazing things: “Dams across the Nile! Fleets of ocean Greyhounds! Plantations of ripening tea!”  For many of us, that bank scene was our first introduction to the theory of compound interest -- a powerful concept we harness today to build permanent and long-lasting endowments.

But Michael has another option, and it is one that appeals more to his heart. With that same tuppence, he can relieve the hunger of little birds with a bag of delicious breadcrumbs. (Mary Poppins delivers this message in a sweet song that is said to have been Walt Disney’s favorite.) 

Okay, it’s the movies and we know which path Michael ultimately chooses. 

So, what does ANY of this have to do with our annual Chairman’s Challenge campaign?! 

Just think: Unlike Michael’s, YOUR choice is simple. You have the ability to invest wisely AND achieve a powerful charitable goal – all with a single gift. 

Our strategic investment helps your Chairman’s Challenge gift do more, and the matching portion of the campaign augments your impact even further.  And while dams across the Nile may not be your own community’s pressing need, perhaps tackling poverty, alleviating the opioid crisis, combating hunger or promoting education might be. All these and more frame the work of our community grantmaking. 

Of course, Michael’s precious unit of currency is no longer in use today, so perhaps you’ll consider a somewhat larger denomination.  Give a gift meaningful to you that enables wonderful things for your community.

It’s a win-win – you can give wisely AND where your heart is at the same time.

As Mary Poppins would observe, it’s “practically perfect in every way.”