Last November, Dr. Rolland C. Lowe was honored at National Philanthropy Day in San Francisco by the Association of Fundraising Professionals-Golden Gate Chapter. I had attended the event and was amazed at the turnout from the Chinese American community. Several local Chinatown organizations, including Chinese for Affirmative Action, Chinese Culture Foundation and Chinese Progressive Association were proud sponsors of the event. Dr. Lowe gave a very passionate and humorous speech, talking about how honored that he was to work with those in attendance and how he tries to pass his passion for community service to his children.
I have been blessed to play a small part in Dr. Lowe’s philanthropic hub and I have been wanting to share his achievements with my readers for awhile now. There are many great people you meet in philanthropy. But only a handful will inspire and encourage you to become more than you are. Dr. Lowe is one of those folks and I have been fortunate to call him my mentor.
The following is the tribute to Dr. Lowe for Lifetime Achievement in Philanthropy Award from the NPD event:
Dr. Rolland Lowe has a long history of giving both financially and in-kind to the Chinatown community. As a medical doctor, Dr. Lowe lived his values, supporting low-income community members by offering his services at minimal or no cost when medical/medicare didn’t reimburse for services. His history of service has been documented in the community and profiled in a noted film called ‘The Chinatown Files.’
In the area of philanthropy, Dr. Lowe is a donor to many community organizations, serves on boards himself and is a model to others to encourage giving. He served as a Trustee for The San Francisco Foundation, and has been a leader in encouraging others to give generously to non-profit organizations. In the past four years he has convened, at his own expense and in partnership with another Chinatown philanthropist, David Lei, special educational sessions fro board members and executive directors to develop planned giving options and long term capture of individual donors to non-profit agencies. He has also done work to set up a Chinatown donor advised fund through The San Francisco Foundation to benefit struggling non-profits in the community and to provide a vehicle for donors to give and non-profit recipients to access funds in the future.
Dr. Lowe has almost single-handedly looked to institutionalize individual donor support towards the community. He uniquely understands his generation of peers and has made major inroads for philanthropy by utilizing his influence to benefit the collective of non-profits in Chinatown. He puts his personal relationships forward to lead others to do what he believes is important in order to preserve key services of non-profit agencies.
He is a leader who invests his own time to nurture many nonprofit leaders and address the concern of future viability of services. In this sense he has been very froward thinking in understanding that the public sector cannot sustain nonprofits at the level of need and demand they are experiencing. He lives and models his values and is a leader and philanthropist in all respects of the definition.