Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

First Coast Givers to Get Awards Today

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

First Coast Givers to Get Awards Today

Article excerpt

Mel Gottlieb said he feels a little guilty when he is called a philanthropist because others who donate fewer dollars may sacrifice more.

"People who give less, it affects their lives more. If they gave $5, it meant they had to give up something, like not going to the movies," said Gottlieb, a 54-year-old retired businessman who will receive an award today from the First Coast chapter of the National Society of Fund Raising Executives.

The chapter will present six awards today -- National Philanthropy Day -- to residents and businesses who have contributed to non-profit groups. Twenty-six others will be honored during a luncheon at the Omni Jacksonville Hotel, where more than 400 people are expected to attend.

Gottlieb, retired founder of Gottlieb Financial Services, and his wife, Debbie, said they give to others because they were helped along the way and want to teach future generations about giving.

The Gottliebs donate to various Jewish organizations, fund 13 University of North Florida scholarships, have founded an institute for emergency medicine in Israel and make other charitable contributions.

Paulette Maehara, national president of the society, will speak at the luncheon about new trends in philanthropy, such as the changing profile and attitude of donors.

Philanthropists are younger, some head startup technical companies and they demand results and accountability, Maehara said.

"The younger donors not only want to give but they want to see firsthand how their donation helps," said Jane Lanier, president of the First Coast chapter. "If they own a company, they want their employees to volunteer. They don't just give to the soup kitchen, they want to go down and make the soup and serve the soup."

The Gottliebs said they, too, do more than donate. Both are active on several boards, and twice a year the Gottliebs meet with scholarship recipients to teach students about business ethics, morality and giving back to the community. …

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