Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Philanthropy as a Social Investment

When we think of the word "philanthropy" it's natural to associate it with "charity" - and that it is!  BUT, it is much more!

Whether one's philanthropy is expressed in small measure or in a large amount, the principle is the same.  A $100 donation to a local men's homeless shelter is no different a social investment than a $100,000 contribution to your alma mater to fund an endowed scholarship for worthy and exceptional students. While the amounts are very different, their intent is the same --a SOCIAL INVESTMENT.

When we speak of  making a "social investment" we mean that we are making a financial commitment to an endeavor that is intended to make a difference of some kind  -- be it in individuals, in a community or in an organization whose mission is to make a difference.  Making a difference is what it's all about!

So, the next time you think of making a contribution to a charitable cause, remember you are practicing SOCIAL INVESTMENT!

Monday, September 2, 2013


The practice of active philanthropy involves a team approach no matter how you look at it.  On the one hand there are those who possess the financial recources necessary to make things happen.  On the other, are those non-profit, community benefit organizations that lack financial resources in and of themselves to accopmplish their mission but that have the programatic, service delivery expertise to get the job done.  One without the other does not work.

 The nexus or  intersection of these two entities is what makes philanthropy work.  This tagteam approach, as I call it, is at the heart of philanthropy.  It is 180 degrees opposite of the traditional view of philanthropists holding the power and "graciously" and charitably" granting largesse to humble, supplient grantees.  The keyword for this tagteam, nexus approach is PARTNERSHIP!  Yes, the intersection of financial resources and service providers meets at PARTNERSHIP.  This perspective places both parties on an equal playing field because they are two critical parts of a whole - the whole being "getting things done".  They need each other to accomplish their respective missions. Consequently, philanthropy should never be about exercising power but about the practice of developing partnerships for everyone's benefit!