How to be a Philanthropist

This is James. James wants to make an impact in his community and the world around him, but he is not sure where to start.  He also feels like any effort he undertakes isn’t big enough to really make a difference.  How can James find a way to give back effectively.  James needs a crash course in philanthropy.  Philanthropy  is something that anyone can do no matter your age, income, or location.  Philanthropy in Greek means for the love of humanity so it’s not just about writing checks more, it’s about compassion and community.

What steps does James need to take to begin his philanthropy strategy? The first step is to know what you care about.  A great way to figure out where your passions lie is to think about how you spend your time, money, and energy already. James is a teacher and he loves the outdoors, so for him education and the environment.

Next, James needs to get organized. There are many ways to be a philanthropist.  You can donate your time, your money, as well as your voice.James begins to use Facebook and Twitter to tell his friends and followers about the issues that matter to him. He also decides to set aside his coffee money twice a week so he can contribute to a cause.

Finding the right place to donate can be confusing.  Many organizations try to rate charities based on their financial metrics, but James also wants to know who is getting results.  He finds an organization that has successfully helping to reforest thousands of sequoias.  His favorite tree. He makes a contribution of the money he’s been saving, and his donation enables 20 trees to be planted.

James wants to use his influence to get more people involved. He tells his second graders about his tree project and encourages each of them to donate a quarter every week for the giant sequoias.  After three months, his class is able to plant 30 more trees.  Pretty soon on the principle takes notice and before long, every classroom in the district has joined James tree campaign.

Gina’s daughter attends school in the district where James teaches, and she has noticed her daighter’s enthusiasm for the project. Gina wants to multiply the impact of the idea and due to her high profile and financial resources, she can.

Gina needs a large-scale philanthropy strategy. James was able to mobilize others to take action on the issues that matter most to him.  Gina is taking his idea and helping it evolve strategically, dramatically expanding its reach. J

James used to think that as one person he couldn’t make a difference, but he’s come to realize he has the ability to inspire others and truly make an impact. Philanthropy is for everyone.

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