Some people may be skeptical of the notion that there are actually right ways and wrong ways to donate to charity. After all, how could any effort to assist those in need be wrong?
The answer isn’t so much a matter of right or wrong; instead, effective philanthropic habits involve maximizing several factors of giving, such as involvement levels, sincerity of purpose, and community outcomes. Companies can tailor their approach to key elements of charity, ensuring that their charitable acts create real results; to help everyone involved earn philanthropic fulfillment and success, we’ve summarized five highly effective philanthropy practices below.
- Know your cause – A practiced investor would never enter the market blind, and an effective philanthropist should never champion a cause without familiarizing themselves with the communities which their endeavors will directly impact. Attending celebratory galas and shaking hands with nonprofit CEOs are great publicity; however, doing these things won’t impart upon you the essence of a chosen cause. To achieve that, companies need to donate a significant amount of time to actually visiting communities, dipping into social climates, and researching community subjects like local politics and past philanthropic works.
- Innovate – The greatest philanthropists don’t focus on providing a necessary service. Instead, they work to present that service as an improved byproduct of predecessors’ discoveries and system updates. Expert philanthropists track successes not by how much money they raised, but the quality of new knowledge they were able to generate for their philanthropic branch.
- Be inclusive – No one is more aware of a community’s needs than its own members. Many philanthropists are content to delegate from afar, but the true greats understand the worth of incorporating community voices into the decision making process.
- Recognize advantages – Philanthropy comes to bat with numerous strengths over government-based assistance: “it is unaccountable, long-term and independent,” says philanthropy advisor Jake Hayman. Its long-term nature should be reflected in long-term charitable initiatives, rather than temporary solutions which only patch permanent issues.
- Learn the economics – Effectively allocating funds requires an in-depth awareness of how, and when they should be applied. Rather than becoming non-stop money funnels, skilled philanthropists move funds in congruence with past, present and future monetary effects. There may be times when restricting funding might be necessary to advance overall goals. Great philanthropists understand their money is not a no-strings reward, but an incentive to catalyze positive progress.
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