Do you ever look at the world and think of all the things you would change? Is there something that is particularly important to you that you wish society took more seriously? Then practice Philanthropy. The word “Philanthropy” makes us think of billionaires, huge sums of money, and having a wing of a building named after you. But, philanthropy simply means “a love of mankind” and can be practiced by anyone with any level of income and assets. No matter how small your gift, giving your money to an organization or a cause that you value is an investment in those values. Give away your money and you will help to further the things that matter most to you.
There are 2 Main Benefits to Giving Away Your Money.
Investing in Your Values – Ok, so you’re not a billionaire. In fact, you can only make a gift of $25 (or maybe less). You should still gift that money to something you feel strongly about. It’s not so much the amount of your gift, it’s the intention behind the gift. You have to think about what you feel strongly about and how you would like to see that thing used in society. Philanthropy is really about having a strong desire to see something grow or be created in the community. It’s the desire that makes the gift powerful.
“We cannot do great things on this Earth, only small things with great love.” – Mother Teresa
Your Money Has Less Power Over You– How often do you worry about money? Do you wonder what would happen if you lost it? Do you think about how you are going to pay for everything you need (and want)? Voluntarily and happily giving your money away (no matter how small) has a way of making you feel more in control of your money (no matter how much you have) rather than the other way around. When we feel we don’t have enough money, our first response is to hoard it. This is in response to fear. By choosing not to make a decision out of fear, we have taken back some of the power that money usually holds over us.
“Money often costs too much.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson
How To Choose What to Give Your Money To
Philanthropy is not a competition. No cause is more or less important than any other – there are only causes that are more important to you because you have a connection or a strong interest in them. Answer these questions to help direct your thoughts.
- Imagine yourself as a billionaire with plenty of money with which to make large gifts and make a significant difference. What would you give to?
- What do you want to see changed in the world?
- What distresses you most about the world?
- Does your immediate community have a need that you believe needs to be filled?
- Think about organizations that you were or are a part of (schools, sports teams, clubs, churches, etc). Do you feel strongly enough about any of them to give to them?
- Think about things that have given you something in life you wouldn’t have had otherwise (an art program that helped your creativity, a sports team that taught you about teamwork, a pet you rescued from a shelter, etc).
- Think about great experiences you have had in your life. Could someone else benefit from that experience?
- What are your top 5 values in life? What could you give to that would further those values?
“The value of a man resides in what he gives and not in what he is capable of receiving.” – Albert Einstein