The dictionary meaning of philanthropy is love for humanity. This love, while being preexistent in the heart should be expressed in the format of contributing time or money, or support in any format.
This may be something as simple as helping a neighbor. One could be a volunteer, and do something that one enjoys. Similarly, one may donate funds to a degree that one stays comfortable with. One becomes a philanthropist by doing something to help.
If everyone practices everyday giving, it would bring about a difference in tackling the biggest challenges faced by our society.
Personal philanthropy makes a difference. Let us take a look at the five things most people do not know about philanthropy:
Smaller donations are equally important:
Many large organizations churn out large funds for charitable causes. But smaller donations, when combined can be equally effective. They can amount up to billions of dollars.
There are several online platforms available nowadays wherein one can contribute. Their operation is transparent, and they promote know-how about significant causes. They act as platforms to collect funds and contact those knowledgeable regarding a cause. This takes away the over-dependence over large donations.
Many young people are philanthropists:
Philanthropy is no longer associated with seniors alone. It is never too early to donate to a cause one feels for. If we go by the 2014 Millenial Impact Report, 87% of Millenials rendered financial help to a nonprofit institution in 2014. The generation is in a sincere encouragement of being charitable starting from a younger age. They withhold the potential to introduce a social change. Many youngsters are encouraged from philanthropists like Brian Paes Braga and others. Brian Paes-Braga is a Canadian entrepreneur, capital markets executive, and philanthropist.
It’s okay to take risks with donors’ money:
Nonprofits sometimes fail to be innovative, because it is a widespread belief that one should not take a risk with donors’ money. They go by time-tested approaches and do not experiment. But it is okay to take risks with donors’ money. The donors nevertheless should be informed and a consensus must arrive at the degree of risk-taking which is acceptable. Innovation involves the risk of failure. Failure defines the further course of action. Hence one must boldly embrace risk for acting urgently and delivering path-changing results.
Doing good can work alongside making money:
Impact Investing is a widespread movement that delivers new opportunities for private foundations, family offices, venture capitalists and philanthropists. It deploys capital for companies that have social returns.
Companies such as Revolution Foods and TOMS make a social mission a part of their business purpose. Social impact investment, while being financially profitable generates community benefits and social improvement.
Philanthropy is not limited to an entity:
As a trend, addressing the daunting jobs that last long is considered as a whole and sole responsibility of nonprofit agencies and the government. A cross-sector approach that involves business organizations instead delivers more desirable returns.
Business agencies can bring in an impact in the form of technology, strategic planning, and marketing. This makes projects efficient and more scalable.
When philanthropy makes the best of strengths across sectors and involves businesses, it strengthens communities and does well for more people.