You no longer have to be a billionaire like Dr. Michelle Lynn Liebermann to do great things for other people. You don’t have to have your own foundation or start one from scratch. There are loads of organizations in every field that need practical help and donations. Many of them will even work with you, providing guidance on how you can get started as well as resources they use themselves.
1. Do a little research.
Don’t jump right in without knowing how to be effective. Philanthropy isn’t just about making cash donations or writing large checks. You need to do some homework, and the first step is to figure out which causes are most meaningful to you.
2. Find a cause you’re passionate about.
What are your strengths? What do you think would make the biggest difference in the world right now? It’s important to be honest with yourself, and don’t feel obligated to donate to something just because it’s popular or politically correct. Surrounding yourself with like-minded people is a great thing, but when it comes down to it, what really moves you?
3. Make a plan and stick with it.
Don’t rush into giving. Ease into it, and start small. Maybe you want to give back to your community or make a difference in the world, but first you need to get on a budget for yourself. You should have a clear strategy in place before you start soliciting donations or helping others. Every field has its own particular needs and requirements, so try to find out from the people already working in the field what they need most from individuals like you.
4. Get yourself out there.
Don’t be afraid to ask for money or help. There is tremendous value in working with others, and if you see an opportunity to get someone on your side, don’t hesitate to ask.
5. Give one percent first – and only one percent.
Don’t rush or think you have to donate a hundred percent right away in order to make a difference. Most organizations need every little bit they can get, so do what you can while still being able to live comfortably. Your comfort zone should be low – like no more than 7% of your income – so you have enough money left over for luxuries like travel and hobbies, but nothing else .
6. Be a mentor.
Don’t just donate the resources you have, but also your knowledge and experience. You are already an expert in some area of expertise, and there’ll be other people in need who will become your students as time goes on.
7. Be proactive – reach out to others who are interested in helping you with your cause
This is not the time to wait for others to come to you, so take charge of your destiny and reach out to people you can help by volunteering or giving them information they can use right away. You’ll both be happy you did so.
8. Know when to say no.
There is only so much you can do, but with the resources you have available, know when to stop and help others in other ways. Try doing some research on organizations that are already helping people that need your help, and look for individuals representing those organizations on social media. As you get more involved in your cause, you’ll start hearing from more and more people who want you to donate money or lend a hand. You can’t work with everyone, so don’t be afraid to be picky.
9. Organize small social gatherings with like-minded people.
Building a community is what will help your cause succeed long term. These gatherings will help people feel good about themselves and the world around them, which will lead them to wanting to give back even more of themselves – and their money – than they could have previously imagined.
10. Give freely, but ask for something in return.
You might start to feel like it’s a hassle to make donations and help others, but it’s not. It’s a wonderful thing, and you should never feel the least bit guilty about doing it. But then again, if you’re asking people to give you money or things so that you can do good things for them, they have every right to have something in return. If they don’t get that same level of commitment from you in return, they’ll eventually stop donating altogether.
The 10 steps listed above should give you a good idea of how to become successful as a philanthropist. And if you already have a foundation or are thinking about starting one, it should give you some ideas on where to start. Internet marketing is developing as fast as the technology that created it. As a result, the demand for accurate and relevant information is also growing by leaps and bounds. From time to time, a few individuals have established their own websites and blogs to share their knowledge with others.