According to the Global Philanthropy Report, there are nearly 79,000 participating philanthropies worldwide, and 44% of them popped up in the 21st century alone.
Why is becoming a philanthropist so crucial to many people? Many philanthropists from different countries are driven by a deep desire to help others and solve social problems.
The best part is that the U.S. federal tax code also incentivizes philanthropists generously. It provides donors with deductions against capital gains, income, charitable contributions, and estate taxes.
Philanthropy also contributes to positive effects like greater happiness and a heightened sense of connection to others. Here is everything you must know about the qualities of philanthropists and why they are so valuable to our society.
Becoming a Philanthropist
If you are thinking about becoming a philanthropist, you should know that there are three main types of philanthropy.
The main ways that aspiring philanthropists can support different charitable causes are by spending money, spending their time, and spending their resources.
Donating money to a charity group or organization is the most common type of philanthropy. Some philanthropists also send off a one-time lump sum payment.
This payment goes a long way to support numerous organizations to do a lot of good in the world. Alternatively, a philanthropist can also contribute money regularly instead of a one-off payment.
They can make multiple recurring payments to the same charitable organization. Finally, philanthropists can also bequest a specific sum to their favorite charity organization after death.
Another way that philanthropists help the world greatly is by offering their time. Offering time and labor goes a long way to help others.
If a philanthropist wants to contribute to a company’s mission and values, they can do so without having a lot of funds to make a generous donation.
The stage is all yours if you have a specific skill that can benefit a charitable organization. Volunteering is one of the most valuable ways to support their favorite charities if they do not have massive bank balances to write checks.
As a philanthropist, you can either volunteer some of your time or services regularly or attend some events and call it a day. The choice is all yours.
Finally, people can also donate their resources if they do not have enough time and money to part with them. Do you have a favorite charitable organization in mind? Ask them what resources they might need.
Depending on the needs of your chosen organization, you may have to gather resources like food, furniture, transportation, and anything else the charity needs to further its mission.
How to Become a Philanthropist?
Now that you have selected the type of philanthropist you want to be and whether you wish to donate your money, time, or resources, here are the steps you must accomplish.
Determine a Cause
Everyone who becomes a philanthropist does so because they are very passionate about something. Without passion, you will struggle to find the motivation to support any organization.
You should always start by identifying a cause that you strongly believe in. Ask yourself why you want to support this cause so badly. Research the charitable organizations related to your cause.
Find the ones that make you feel most connected to your cause. For example, if you want to further educate or donate to protect the environment, you should find an organization that feels as deeply about the cause as you do.
It also helps to make a list of some charities you want to consider supporting. Then you can narrow down this list to pick a few charities based on your interests and connections. Then you can develop a long-term plan to help them grow their mission with your support.
Think About Outcomes
Before diving into the exciting world of philanthropy, you should think about what you want to achieve throughout the process. Ask yourself why you want to be a philanthropist and why it matters so much to you.
Is being a philanthropist something you have always wanted? When you go over what you want to achieve through becoming a philanthropist, you can identify many essential things.
For instance, you can identify a specific and measurable outcome, like providing furniture for underserved schools. This will provide clear and structured goals to know where to inject your time, resources, or money.
Otherwise, you can also go the easy way and give a certain amount of money or time to your chosen charity every year or month. The beauty of being a philanthropist is that you get to decide how you want to do it.
You can be as involved as you want, or you can support from the background.
Thinking about the outcome of your philanthropic goals will help determine the type of donor you want to be. This way, you can also manage your money more effectively and be able to spend on more charities in the future.
Determine Your Contribution
Now that you are ready to support your favorite charitable cause consider how you want to contribute. Then you must think of how much you want to contribute to the charity.
Some philanthropists go all out and generously donate a lot of money. Others offer different resources or even valuable time through volunteering.
Before getting involved with a charity, it is always best to consider what you can donate.
Then you can use that figure as the foundation to then determine the best course of action to align you with your pre-determined outcome goals from the previous step.
Seek Potential Opportunities
You can vet charity groups if you start assembling a thoughtful framework of potential causes you want to support, your desired outcomes, and contribution amounts.
This is where you will need to do a lot of research to narrow down the specific organizations that you want to be the focus of your philanthropy.
Always look into a potential group’s use of the fund and their leadership. Then you should dig into their outcomes to ensure that your goals align with their mission. Otherwise, you would not be the right fit with a charity group if you did not have the same goals in mind.
Have a Philanthropy Plan
When you have chosen the charity that you want to devote all your philanthropic efforts, you must set up a plan to regularly support the organization.
For example, you may have to determine a small percentage of your income every month to donate to them. This can also be done once a year if you do not want a monthly arrangement.
It also helps to set one day aside every quarter to volunteer for your chosen organization. This way, you can help in more ways than simply donating money.
If you want to become a philanthropist, you should think about your long-term giving plan. Are you going to support a chosen charity for a few months? Or do you want to be their philanthropist for several years?
You should constantly evaluate your philanthropic plan regularly throughout. This way, you can decide how to plan your resources and whether you want to increase your contribution.
You can also set up a fund or trust for the charitable cause to continue benefiting from your philanthropy even after you pass away.
Spread the Word
One best way to further your philanthropic efforts is by sharing your work with family members and friends. Sharing this with people in your professional and personal networks can inspire them to join your cause.
This can significantly increase the positive outcomes and how many more contributions your favorite charity can get.
Boast about the cause you support and tell all your friends how you find so much meaning in life by dedicating your time, money, and resources to the betterment of our world.
This should inspire friends to feel motivated by your hard work. They may also loosen up their wallets to donate to the best charities you have narrowed down, especially if they trust your advice.
What Makes Someone a Philanthropist?
Many people usually associate the term philanthropist with a wealthy person who walks around writing checks for substantial sums of money. However, anyone can become a philanthropist.
It does not matter how much your net worth is. You can still help a lot of non-profit organizations by offering your time and resources. A philanthropist is a kindhearted soul who wants to improve this world.
You can get into personal philanthropy, where you dedicate yourself, or corporate philanthropy to use company funds. Employees of a business charitable giving department may need a bachelors degree at minimum to get into this responsibility.
Others do not need to be degree qualified if they want to become a philanthropist. Check out these benefits of philanthropy to get started.
Become a Philanthropist Today
Now that you know what is involved in becoming a philanthropist, it is time to research different charitable causes to make a list of the ones that move you the most.
Then you will be much more motivated to have a long-term support plan for your chosen charity to ensure that your funds, resources, and time are allocated effectively.
If you enjoyed reading this philanthropy guide, check out some of our other posts.