Philanthropists are a rare breed. Entrepreneurs tend to take advantage of exciting business opportunities in order to further their own personal goals. Philanthropists use business acumen as a way of promoting the overall welfare of humanity. This often involves charitable work, starting nonprofit organizations. They often use finances to make a real difference in the lives of those who need a bit of help. If you’re someone who has just started to test the waters of philanthropy, now can be a wonderful time to learn more about your options and receive some pertinent advice.
The trick to seeing lasting success as a philanthropist is listening to the words of wisdom that other people in the field have found. These tips and suggestions come from a variety of philanthropists and all aim to make your journey a bit easier.
Start With a Cohesive Plan
Across the board, all successful philanthropists suggest that newcomers dedicate a large chunk of time to planning. When you are just starting out, you might not have the first idea about how to put your money toward the right charitable organizations. By simply throwing money and different causes without any sort of plan in place, you are not going to be able to sustain your goals or help as many people as you’d like. To begin, you want to sit down and conduct some research on your industry and its current status.
Defining your overarching goals can also be a sensible action to help you find your path as a philanthropist. Stating that you want to help others with your work might be an admirable aim, but it is also far too general. Be as specific as possible. Instead of a general statement, say “I wish to use my funds to help children who need food find access to meals.” By being as accurate as you can with your goals, you can start to create a roadmap that will lead you to the destination you’d prefer.
Know Where To Find Opportunities
There are countless opportunities in the world for philanthropists to pursue. Of course, finding such opportunities is easier said than done. One of the biggest obstacles you will need to overcome is figuring out where these opportunities are hidden. There are a few different approaches you can take to this task. For one, you can conduct your own research based on what you know. Use problems you’re aware of in your community to begin seeing where your funds can be best applied to make a lasting difference in the lives of others.
Another easy way to discover unique opportunities is by researching examples of philanthropic success. Mark Stevens, for example, is a venture capitalist who takes advantage of investments. From serving on boards to investing in basketball teams, Stevens uses money to make more money. By following an example like this, you have the rare opportunity to transform your funds into extra capital and apply that money towards charitable organizations. The more you explore opportunities, the easier it will be to find exciting investment prospects without any additional help.
Learn To Budget Your Financial Contributions
A ton of funding is involved with philanthropic endeavors. From donating to charitable organizations, founding nonprofits, and investing in new opportunities to grow your efforts. You will be balancing a number of different responsibilities with your funds. The absolute best way to see success is by having a system for balancing your budget and documenting all of your financial contributions. This will ultimately come down to finding a system of organization that makes the most sense for the way you work. It also accommodates the specific demands placed on you by your various philanthropic projects.
By keeping all of your donations and contributions organized, you will have a much easier time knowing what you can write off when tax season rolls through. Plus, you will always know exactly how much capital you have available for future investments. Take time to review your current system of organization and see what adjustments you can make to increase overall efficiency with your processes. Applications designed for budgeting can be a lifesaver in this regard. When you can monitor all of your finances from your phone, it provides you with more immediate answers and results.
Use Your Time Wisely
Finally, your time is just as valuable as your investment funds when it comes to philanthropy. Sometimes, the simple act of showing up and working with volunteers at a specific organization you support is enough to make a difference. Learn to use your time to the best of your abilities and it can make a big difference in how the public receives you and the efforts you undertake.
No matter what path you pursue, philanthropy is an admirable option to follow. Give yourself the chance to review the best practices as suggested by successful philanthropists and see what you can learn. Learning what you need to know early will make the rest of your journey that much more enjoyable.