The Arc of Personal Philanthropy
January 13, 2014
A Leadership Forum organized by the University of Southern California, titled Philanthropy,: Imagination, Innovation and Impact contains a series of short, very readable commentaries on personal philanthropy. One couple, who have pledged to give away one-half of their personal wealth to philanthropy summarized five principles that have guided their thought process about giving back. They are simple, but well worth repeating here:
Principles of Giving Back
1/ Passion – If you don’t have a passion for giving, or a particular cause, consider spending your time elsewhere. Without a personal passion, you won’t be effective.
2/ Strong leadership – Leadership at all levels of a grant making/gift giving organization is important for making meaningful change. Leadership can take a variety of forms and come from unlikely places – it influences how you make decisions, how your energize staff and sustain a resilient organization.
3/ Involvement – personal involvement leads to better decision making. You will have a deeper impact, than simply writing a check to an organization.
4/ Measurement – Pay attention to the impact of your gifts and support, so that you can see the difference you are making and how you might do it better
5/ Lastly, be flexible and open to adjustment. Effective philanthropists need to be willing and able to adapt and respond to the constantly evolving challenges that face the organizations you support