Becoming a philanthropist and donating your money, time, and/or name and reputation to worthy causes can be very rewarding. Think about some of the most famous philanthropists, like Bill Gates and Oprah, who give millions to charitable causes.
While you might believe the only way to improve the world via humanitarian efforts is to write multimillion-dollar checks, the reality is that we can all become philanthropists. Below investor and philanthropist Rusty Tweed have laid out the process into 10 basic steps.
Getting Started With Philanthropy
Start with your passions and values. Select up to five populations, approaches, or key issues. Determine how each aligns with the needs of the community as well as with your ideas around making process happen.
Clearly define what you want to achieve with your charitable contribution.
Consider both your short term and long term giving aspirations. How much are you happy giving immediately and who much do you want to save for a future cause? What will the impact of your charity over your life look like?
Learn as much as you can about areas you’re concerned about by conducting research and talking to those at the forefront. Streamline your priorities.
Find out which existing groups share your mission and what they have achieved so far. What are the organization’s leadership structure, budget, vision, and productivity rate? What partnerships have they cultivated? Consider becoming a committee member or volunteer to get more involved.
Determine what proportion of your contribution you want to assign to each interest area and the types of work you want to fund.
Think about how you are going to make tough giving decisions. Will you decide alone or will you use the consensus of a church group, charity, or non-profit organization?
Consider how involved you want to be with the organizations and programs you fund. Great doners typically get immersed in their causes via activism or volunteer work.
Layout your lifetime contribution goals and engage in estate planning and have consultations with your family surrounding your values and the needs of the community.
Connect with others to discuss the big issues, like economic development, environment, health care, education, childhood nutrition, electoral reform, housing, etc.