Philanthropy is the desire to promote the welfare of others, expressed especially by the generous donation of money to good causes.
17 Command those who are rich in this present world not to be arrogant nor to put their hope in wealth, which is so uncertain, but to put their hope in God, who richly provides us with everything for our enjoyment. 18 Command them to do good, to be rich in good deeds, and to be generous and willing to share. 19 In this way they will lay up treasure for themselves as a firm foundation for the coming age, so that they may take hold of the life that is truly life.1 Timothy 6:17-19
This is my plea. Amidst all of the questions about what I am passionate about, this I know to be true; philanthropy must be a top priority. I don’t know what it is or why I feel so strongly about it but I have to give myself away in all of the traditional categories, time, talent, and treasure. But I think there is something extra to be said for giving away money. I believe in tithing to the church faithfully but I also believe in giving to causes I have a heart for. While there are many worthy organizations around, I choose to support my own on a monthly basis. Habitat for Humanity is a great place to invest philanthropic dollars. It hurts people to think about but I don’t think it hurts them to actually do. Once you actually make the choice to give, you feel good. Here are some keys to sustainable giving in my opinion:
- Give to something you are passionate about. Whether it is decent housing, animals, battered women, hunger, homelessness, mentoring, clean water, or anything else, make sure you are passionate about it. That will help fuel consistency and future involvement in the organization’s mission.
- Give to something you trust. Nonprofits and charities have evolved a ton over the last twenty to thirty years but there are still trust issues. Too many organizations have been poor stewards of donated money. I would encourage you to get educated, ask questions, volunteer, do whatever you have to do to trust the organization you are giving to. It will keep you from trying to hang on to your money after it is donated. Obviously, it is easy for me to give to my organization. I trust myself and the leadership that we have. I know for a fact that my money will be used to advance the mission and not my wallet.
- Understand that the funds are no longer yours. Be 100% okay with the organization using your gift for the good of the mission, regardless of your original thoughts. Coming from someone who knows, there are things that we (the organization) have to spend money on in order to serve people. You have to be okay with and trust us enough to use the gift appropriately. That is where the research and involvement piece comes in.
- Tell your friends. Get excited about giving. Being the anonymous donor is cool and all but it really helps the nonprofit grow when you share your generous acts with other people. It is not arrogant to let people know that you are philanthropic.
Today is #GivingTuesday. If you are not familiar, it is a worldwide initiative to engage philanthropic giving. It’s a call to action. I have two tasks for you. One is simple; give to an organization or several that you feel passionate about. If you have questions I would love to research some alongside you or help connect you to someone with answers. My second task is more involved, give money every month. I doesn’t matter if it’s only ten dollars just make it consistent. Most all nonprofits have a way for you to give monthly with zero headaches. All you need to do is sign up and it will happen every month just like your other bills. Except this won’t be another bill. This will be you making an investment in your community or the world you live in.
For me, this is not a joking matter and it is not something to gloss over. Make an impact! Give yourself away. You have plenty and it does make a difference.
Link to give to JC Habitat for Humanity, Give here