Money Matters with Nimi

There are certain words that come to mind when you talk about philanthropy; charity, giving, community, doing good, social impact.

The definition of a philanthropist is “someone who donates his or her time, money, and/or reputation to charitable causes.” Charitable giving fulfills a need and usually involves providing food, shelter, clothing, medical care to those in need. Philanthropic giving on the other hand, is more than just a donation and tends to focus on addressing long-term problems; for example, one might invest in the provision of vocational or entrepreneurship training to address a chronic unemployment problem.

Philanthropy affords one the opportunity and privilege of making a positive impact in society. By giving to community, arts, cultural, sports, religious, and civic organization can be deliberately involved in causes that we believe in. Foundations are usually established as the vehicle to facilitate philanthropic efforts

“Impact Investing” a profit-oriented philanthropy, comes with the notion that a positive return on investment can be a powerful tool for social change. Instead of just making money, you are making money and also making an impact at the same time.

Determine what causes you would like to support. What problems, issues, philosophies do you identify with? In the early stages of your philanthropy, you might have a wide array of issues that concern you. Will you support with a one-off donation or commit to give year-on-year? Narrow your choices down to a few initiatives whose ethos and mission are in consonance with your own core values. You are more likely to achieve greater results by being strategic in your giving than if you support too many causes without any real focus.

Before parting with any money, it is important to do some research. One assumes that most charitable groups are credible but there are unscrupulous groups who parade themselves philanthropic organizations. There ought to be some measure of follow up to track results and to see the positive impact of your contribution; this will make it easier for you to continue to give.

Select a few opportunities for your giving, and consider partnering with others that are more experienced. As you develop your philanthropic interest, a pilot will afford you with a real learning opportunity to make an impact in areas that you care about; it enables one to think and plan strategically and therefore be more efficient, effective, and most importantly, sustainable.

Sometimes one reminisces about how far standards have fallen at ones alma mater or observes with frustration educational institutions badly in need of attention. With an endowed gift, you can provide permanent support for an educational institution. Your contributions will be invested and each year a distribution made to fund the program or area that matches your area of particular interest or focus. You may also decide to, through the title, forever link your name, or that of a family member to continued excellence at the college. There are many ways to give. Consider gifts of carefully selected investments in stocks or mutual funds that should continue to give well into the future.

Giving does not mean that you must give only financially; the possibilities of giving of your time, experience, talent and intellect are vast and by sharing your knowledge with others you can add value to your community in many ways.

Having money or means comes with significant responsibility because it makes it possible for you have a positive impact on others. Material possessions will eventually lose their shine, but through philanthropy, one can help others, shape or even save lives. By deciding to make a difference in people’s lives, you can bring so much more meaning, value and a lasting form of happiness to your own.

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One Response to “P is for Philanthropy”

  1. titi says:

    Nice article.

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