Guest Blog: Sharon Lipinski, Author, 365 Ways to Give Generously
Why Give Money?
When it comes to giving, a person might naturally ask themselves, why give, especially money? I think there are lots of excellent reasons to give money, but find the following two reasons particularly compelling.
One, giving money allows us to increase and accelerate our impact through others to DO MORE about what we care about to make the world a better place.
Two, giving money can contribute significantly to our self-image. It’s good to remember, money itself doesn’t define who we are. Our actions do, especially our actions with money. How we use our money makes a statement to ourselves and others about what we value. It does it in a tangible, recordable and measurable manner. Being giving and thought of as charitable and caring are a wonderful way to build esteem while taking concrete action to improve the human condition.
…giving money allows us to increase and accelerate our impact through others to DO MORE about what we care about to make the world a better place.
How Much to Give?
Once a person has made a decision to give, they might ask themselves, how much can I or should I give? These are reasonable and prudent questions. Having said that, I believe it is better to initially focus on “how to” versus “how much” to give. In fact, I enthusiastically encourage everyone to give as philanthropists.
Sure, when you first hear the word philanthropist you might conjure up images of sophisticated luncheons, children’s hospitals or art museums. But, I want you to know philanthropy at its core has nothing to do with any of that or how much you donate. Rather, it has everything to do with how you donate. A philanthropist is someone who donates with purpose. A philanthropist:
- Has a picture of how they want the world to look and is willing to invest in it
- Donates with the intention of bringing that picture to life
What this means is a person can donate $1 and be a philanthropist or $1 million and not be a philanthropist. My strong suggestion is to give as philanthropist. If you get in the habit of giving and being a philanthropist there is a good chance your giving and philanthropy will grow and the question of how much to give will be successfully answered to your satisfaction.
Where to Give?
Lastly, a person might ask, where should I give or what should I give to? Being a good philanthropist takes time. It requires an investment of effort and energy. Therefore, I have found it best to focus giving on 1, 2 or 3 causes I feel passionate about. Perhaps it’s helping seniors, supporting the arts, or bringing clean water to communities around the world. Once you choose your cause(s), identify charities working on those causes, read books about your causes, talk to other philanthropists about those causes. In other words, do some homework. It will help you get better results and your philanthropy to have more impact.
Over time, you’ll become an expert in giving and philanthropy. You will identify causes that are creating the world you want to see!