Philanthropic Philosophy

Susie Almaneih PhilanthropyPhilanthropy is more than an act of giving, it’s to encourage change. Whether personal or professional, philanthropic pursuits can be equally beneficial for the performer and the recipient. The field of philanthropy is dominated by professional companies looking to aid worthy causes, but how do you choose which to support? What is the best way to get the most out of your generous efforts?

When preparing to take on a philanthropic endeavor, it’s best to examine it from two different perspectives. First, examine what you’d like to do through a personal lense. Giving yourself to a cause is an intensely personal, and oftentimes emotionally taxing investiture of your time and money. Before dedicating yourself to such a task, don’t be afraid to ask yourself if it’s worth it. Not to devalue any philanthropic effort, but there is only so much time in our lives, and if you’re choosing to dedicate a portion of yourself to a cause, it’s necessary to fully support your subject.

The second perspective to examine is the external. While you are committing yourself to a charitable act, philanthropy does come with it’s share of benefits or returns. If a company pledges to dedicate a portion of proceeds to a charitable cause, it does so with the hope of calling attention to its brand. A mutually beneficial exercise in public relations, a chosen charitable group receives much needed aid, and a business entity receives positive attention from the public. By considering both perspectives, you can better utilize your philanthropic efforts, and assert change where it’s most necessary.

Whether for business or pleasure, when developing your philanthropic strategy, it’s best to engage others. If you’re preparing to launch a personal campaign, ask the family what they think, and be certain not to overlook conflicting opinions. In business, engage shareholders and employees. Utilize outreach programs and use your company as a platform to address community leaders. By opening yourself to opinion, you significantly increase the probability of garnering support from outside sources.

Focus your efforts rather than spread yourself thin. Many companies feel it’s best to use their massive wealth over a wide area, limiting the amount of funding any one charity is able to receive. If you’re looking to affect real change, focusing efforts into one area will better serve your dollar and their cause. Researching your intended charity is also necessary. Too often good causes are championed by those looking to profit off the pain of others. Large sums of your donation could be shunted to sources not of your choosing, and the only way to prevent that is exhaustive research into your intended recipient.

Lastly, don’t be afraid to dig deep. Too many charitable donations come posthumously, denying the generous benefactor the satisfaction of providing for those in need. Consult your financial advisor, whether professional or personal, and assess how much you can do to help. The act of giving is like working a muscle. At first, the concept seems strange and foreign, but with time you begin to feel the benefits of charitable work.

For more philanthropy ideas and the philosophy behind them – check out this article published by the Institute for Ethics and Emerging Technologies.

Why Giving is Good (For You)

American cultural anthropologist known for her political passion and female perseverance, Margaret Mead, once said: “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed, citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.” People who recognize the power of action and taking a stance are the ones that actually do change the world. And that’s why it’s important to recognize the power of volunteering for charity. Plus, not only do you help those in need through volunteer work, but it is scientifically proven to have benefits toward your health and outlook on the world. Here are just a few of the many reasons why giving back is good for you generated from Babble.com’s article:

First, volunteering alleviates depression and increases life satisfaction. People who volunteer throughout their lives, even if it’s from random acts of kindness and not through a large Susie Almaneihorganization, are proven to have a more positive overall well-being than those who do not. According to Babble.com, “Kindness is good for your heart, both figuratively and literally. Older adults who volunteer have lower blood pressure than those who do not volunteer,” (Babble, 6 Reasons Why Giving Back is Good for You). Because cardiovascular disease is currently the number one cause of death, it is important you take care of your heart health from a young age. And what better way to do that than helping those in need in your local community and around the world. In addition, “Research shows that teens who volunteer even just one hour per week can have lower levels of inflammation, lower cholesterol, and lower BMIs than those who do not volunteer,” (Babble, 6 Reasons Why Giving Back is Good for You).

Next, you will be a great role model for children and influence them to be kind to others and make good choices. Children who see adults volunteering and being kind are inspired to do the same, and in doing so feel more accepted by their peers. Especially because bullying is a large problem in school districts, “Being kind to others can have a cyclical effect in that those who are kSusie Almaneihind are less likely to be bullies, and those who are kind (and therefore more accepted) are le
ss likely to be bullied,” (Babble, 6 Reasons Why Giving Back is Good for You). In essence, children who have positive mentors in their lives will want to act the same way, and in doing so generosity becomes contagious and indirectly correlates to having less bullies in schools.

Lastly, when you make a difference is somebody else’s life, especially if it is a direct donation or through an acquaintance, you feel good. Whether you have a friend who’s mother is battling cancer, or you once struggled to pay rent – making a donation or volunteering for causes that directly affect you, or that you are passionate towards, is even more rewarding than just anonymously donating to a cause you have no affiliation with.

So make a difference in the world – give back (it’s good for you).