Giving charity to the less fortunate gives a sense of satisfaction to the giver and a source for sustenance for the receiver. While common individuals give charity as per their capacity, many business tycoons, IT professionals, and founders and leaders have pursued philanthropy in their individual capacity.
Their massive donations have significantly impacted many sectors such as education, humanitarian rights, child labor, refugee relief, medicine, and poverty, among many causes.
With all of this in mind, today’s topic is going to be all about what it takes to be a philanthropist in the world today, while also pointing out some of the most notable traits about them.
Who is a philanthropist?
Philanthropy means donating money and time for welfare projects and deserving causes. Many assume that to be a philanthropist, one needs to be extraordinarily wealthy and have excess wealth to give away charity. However, it is a misconception, and it is the art of giving that is important. Anyone can help society in whichever way they can.
Philanthropy alone accounts for nearly 16% of civil society earnings. Individuals such as Thomas Kane in Chicago, are just a few of the people that make sure to provide annual contributions and do their part to help those in need. Individuals have contributed significantly to charities in developing and third-world countries. This gain has not restricted the funding from top to bottom. Many contributions are happening within and between developing countries themselves.
Many individual donors give to organizations that are operating overseas in poorer countries. It is easier to reach the needy in those countries through these channels. One is not sure of the accurate information, including the trust and transparency part when it comes to giving directly to unknown people. Giving to these organizations means one can even donate relatively small amounts as they have the potential to make a positive change in someone’s life.
Many individuals also overcome barriers by giving to organizations where they have a personal connection. Statistics reveal that the majority of people in more affluent countries have voluntarily donated to poorer countries at some point. Also, since over the past 20 years, such contributions have been on the increase and are a positive sign.
Successful people have made philanthropic activities a tool to promote the less fortunate people’s welfare through donations of money, property, and service volunteering. No philanthropist is similar as they come from diverse socio-economic backgrounds. However, it is seen that they have several common character traits that make them stand out and be successful in all the activities they undertake.
Some of the common traits include:
Philanthropic people are the most unselfish people. They show selfless concern for the less fortunate welfare and strive to alleviate others’ struggles without seeking anything for their personal benefit. They execute real philanthropic works without any expectation of compensation or recognition of their efforts.
And again, referring back to Thomas Kane, no matter how big or small a donation or effort might be, as long as it’s going towards a great cause it’s worth the time and effort.
Empathy is their hallmark
Philanthropists are empathetic toward the struggles of others. They feel obliged to reduce others’ struggles, and they see them as their own problems and feel the hurt that comes with them.
Once this feeling sets in, it is easier for them to understand how being more fortunate than others can be a blessing and then share a part of the poor’s blessings.
Heightened social awareness.
Philanthropic people have great awareness of their surroundings. Not only are they open to conflicting views and new ideas, but they also try to understand the circumstances and obstacles of others. They look to identify the genuine needs of others and then accordingly go ahead with their charitable work.
They are far-sighted.
Philanthropic people do not believe in quick fixes and want long-term solutions to alleviate others’ sufferings. They believe in making positive change in the global society. The changes have an irreversible impact on others’ socio-economic status by channelizing their efforts in that direction.
The commitment to a cause and the long-term vision allows them to focus on addressing the root cause of problems. They also realize that in order to make significant changes in the conditions of the marginalized, it is important to address underlying structural issues by investing in long-term solutions.
It is difficult to make structural changes in society without the backing of the government forces. They recognize that changes can happen only when there are changes in political forces.
Many successful philanthropists are known to be advocates. They acknowledge that while it is essential to invest in programs that are shown to produce tangible results, advocacy is crucial for progress on a broader scale for better results.
Successful philanthropists do not randomly donate. They look for specific causes that merit attention and help. They prefer to go out and see on their own and identify the problems. They and identify look for communities or organizations who can support them and make the vision a reality.
They determine which groups can work best for a specific project and take other support groups to work on different aspects of the project. They maintain a balanced and holistic view of the problem then use the appropriate tools to catalyze these changes.
Many successful philanthropic people look at the larger picture when doing charitable work. Though they derive charitable work from the professional business, they maintain the same ethics, discipline, and commitment to achieving the target. They see their contributions as investments to society and the economy. They are also organized and prefer to keep a tab on how their money and resources are used. They want their money to be used efficiently and in an organized manner.
Another aspect of their charitable work is that they prefer to work on the project in such a way so that they are not in it forever but ensure that the communities themselves self-sustain and bring about positive change.
Just as philanthropists want their business to grow and succeed, similarly, they have the same vision and goal to do their charitable work to thrive and grow.
Apart from using the many tools for projects, they also leverage it with their resources, use their networks and position in society to promote a cause. This broad outlook allows them to focus only on contributing to non-profit organizations and expand their activity to a for-profit business.
My name is Sue, and I'm a freelance writer that focuses most of my attention on the world of business, finance and partnerships. Through the use of this blog I share my findings and what I'm currently working on.