Nicholas Cavallaro

Each year, I challenge myself to give more than the previous year.

Location: New York, New York

Profession: Investment Management

Twitter Handle: @Nick_Cavallaro

What was the first philanthropic gift you ever gave?

I have always been a big proponent of medical research, and some of my first contributions were to the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society as well as The V Foundation.

Why does medical research matter to you?

For many people, medical conditions and diseases can be severely limiting lifestyle issues or threaten the amount of time we have to live. Even though we can all better ourselves with a healthier lifestyle—nutritious diet, regular exercise, and ample sleep—sometimes good habits and prevention aren’t enough.

I’ve always been a believer that advancements in medical research and technology have a profound impact for the greatest amount of people. Donating directly toward medicine helps advance treatment and prevention for a variety of diseases. Sometimes we take for granted past accomplishments such as vaccines, antibiotics, and anesthesia, but even newer medical advancements with gene sequencing, minimally invasive procedures, imaging, organ transplants, and stem cells, can help people live better lives. I hope that by supporting medical research, future technological and medical advancements continue to evolve and ultimately better society.

What is your charity of choice?

I have contributed to the ALS Association, American Cancer Society, Leukemia and Lymphoma Society, Komen Foundation, Movember Foundation, and The V Foundation.

What is your most recent charitable contribution?

Every year I support a group of friends who participate in Movember. Movember is an annual event when men grow mustaches during the month of November to raise awareness and funds for men’s health issues, such as prostate cancer. Growing the mustache is a great conversation starter and drives camaraderie for those who partake in it.

Who inspires you to give?

Inspiration comes from within.

What motivates you to give?

When I give, I know that I am helping causes that are both meaningful to me as well as others.  Often times, a friend or relative runs a race or is involved in an activity designed to raise funds and awareness.  Knowing that others are doing the harder work makes donating that much easier.

What advice do you have for others to consider giving?

Determine what is important to you and take the first step, even if it is small.  During my first year after graduating from college I donated $152, and each year, I challenge myself to give more than the previous year.  While I’m not yet to the point of writing $1,000 checks (which I aspire to do one day), I have given a substantial amount more than I otherwise would have and feel great doing so.

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Julia Levy, Founder, has a decade of development experience, including working for a philanthropist, a small nonprofit and now a large nonprofit. She has raised significant dollars for numerous causes, from education to religion and from donors of all ages. Julia holds a Certificate in Fundraising from NYU’s Heyman Center for Philanthropy and an undergraduate degree from Cornell University. Julia has taught fundraising workshops, most recently at Brooklyn Brainery and coached development professionals.

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Why We Give tells stories of ordinary philanthropists, making a difference, dollar by dollar and hour by hour.  

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