By Sarah B Lange under Fundraising, Individual Donors, Philanthropy Stories on January 15, 2021

Did you know that the US was the 1st to land on the moon because of PHILANTHROPY?

It’s true!

Dr. Robert Goddard – dubbed the Father of Modern Rocketry – was born in MA in 1882. A fearless visionary, he was one of the first space travel pioneers. He was the first scientist who not only realized the potentialities of missiles and space flight, but also contributed directly to the creation of rockets. Goddard had a rare combination of both creative science and practical engineering. Goddard is credited with having developed most of the basic concepts in rocket and jet propulsion prior to 1920. He secured his 1st patent in 1916. Ten year later, he invented, built and launched the 1st liquid-fuel rocket!

How does philanthropy fit in to Goddard’s story?

Charles Lindbergh – famous for making the 1st nonstop air flight from New York to Paris – recognized Goddard’s genius. So did Daniel Guggenheim, his son Harry, and the Smithsonian Institute. Goddard’s research — both in Worcester, MA and Roswell, NM — was funded by the Daniel Guggenheim Fund for the Promotion of Aeronautics, which was created in 1926. They were the primary backers of Goddard’s rocketry work, providing him with $183,500. In today’s dollars, that would be $2,634,342.40!

As a result of the Guggenheim’s support, Goddard was able to make some of the greatest engineering contributions of all times. He was awarded more than 200 patents in rocket technology at a time when space travel was still a thing of dreams! His inventions formed the basis for the US space program, and made possible our nation’s dream of travel to the Moon, Mars, and beyond.

In 1961, NASA established the Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, MD as its first space flight complex. Goddard’s widow, Esther, was present at the dedication ceremony on March 16, 1961 – 35 years to the day after he launched his first liquid-fuel rocket on his Aunt Effie’s farm in Massachusetts! Today, the center studies the Earth, Sun, Solar System, and Universe on a $5.2 Billion annual budget.

What could philanthropy make possible for YOUR organization? What would be different if you were able to secure Guggenheim-level of support? That level of support may seem impossible, but in 2019, $449.64 BILLION was given away to charity; of that, 79% came from PEOPLE. And not just the wealthy! Data shows that people of middle income strata give away proportionately more of their income than do the wealthy. This means that our donors are around the corner, down the street, and across town!

SO – What does YOUR trip to the moon look like? And how can I help you get there?

Stay tuned for more stories of innovations that have been Powered by Philanthropy! Meanwhile, if you’re facing a challenge or have a burning question that needs to be answered, you can book a free, 15-minute Pick My Brain session by clicking here.


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