How to Be a Great Donor & Philanthropist

We are soon launching an online class for anyone who wants to learn how to be a great donor, a great philanthropist and how to increase the impact that you want to have in the world. This class, Mastering the Art of Impactful Giving, will be open to anyone, anywhere. Sign up here to be notified when it is available.

In the meantime, start thinking about how you can take steps to become a great donor for the causes and organizations that you love.

Best Practices for Impactful Philanthropy

  • Give to what you are passionate about!
  • Give when you are asked.
  • Give with joy.
  • Look at your wealth – make a budget for what you need, what is necessary to live a life that you want, and give the rest away.
  • Give directly & without designations.
  • Give via check to minimize fees (especially large donations).
  • Give regularly – monthly is best!
  • Don’t contribute to endowment funds, unless asked.
  • Don’t let your money sit in a trust or donor advised fund – the world needs the resources TODAY to effectively create change.
  • Give feedback & suggestions.
  • Read their updates.
  • Attend events.
  • Share on social media.
  • Run a fundraiser.
  • Volunteer.
  • Give your stocks, bonds, mutual funds, IRA distributions, etc.
  • Give your high-value assets – vehicles, collectibles, etc.
  • Don’t give your junk, don’t purchase locally to distribute globally.
  • Include charities in your will.

Take It To The Next Level – How To Be An Even Better Philanthropist

Share your networks.

  • Organizations always need donors. Introduce your friends, family, coworkers, etc. to the organization.
    • Host dinners or events.
    • Invite the Executive Director (or other staff) to your company event, rotary club meeting, church group or study, etc.

Share your expertise.

  • Volunteer your professional services.
  • Help with tasks that cost the organization money to complete.

Use your privilege well.

  • Advocate government, businesses, religious groups, etc. for necessary changes. Use your voice!
  • Use your race, gender, wealth and power to open up doors for those who are excluded, to offer allyship and protection, to stand in solidarity.
  • Recognize that often our best response to the challenges of others is silence: grief, repentance, solidarity, taking the back seat & purposeful emptying of self.

Remember that doing good isn’t just for those working at nonprofits, your financial support makes it possible. You are creating that impact too! When you raise the bar for yourself as a philanthropist, you will demonstrate to the charity what is possible, and you will raise the bar for others too.