Six Guidelines To Observe When Using Social Media for Philanthropy

Philanthropy may be an age-old practice but that doesn’t mean it has no place in the digital world. Just like other fields such as education and commerce, charitable institutions (and even private individuals with a cause to support) also need to keep up with technological advancements. Indeed, it is not unusual to see fundraising campaigns in your social media feed nowadays. Non-profit organizations are also discovering the benefits of having their own website or social media pages.

Turning to social media to promote an important campaign is undoubtedly a brilliant option. However, responsible philanthropists who wish to see their online advocacy succeed observe rules and practice discipline in their social media activities. The following are some guidelines you should remember to abide by when using social media for philanthropy:

Craft a strategy.  

As a highly effective communication tool, a single post on Facebook or Instagram can possibly go viral in a matter of minutes. However, the success of your online campaign is still not guaranteed, especially if you are clueless about social media management. Increase your chances of seeing positive results by devoting time to study how to  manage a social media page and create an online campaign. With adequate knowledge, you can then start planning wise strategies for your philanthropic causes.

Work on your social media page profile. 

In many ways, social media is like a crowded marketplace. Many things are going on at the same moment. Therefore, you literally have to exert effort to gain people’s attention and trust. Thus, simply having a social media page or an official website is often not enough. You want to offer something that will make your post stand out from the rest and at the same establish your page as a trustworthy one. You can do that by working on your social media profile. Try to erase doubts about your cause by including content in your profile that prove your credibility.

Provide adequate information. 

People who want to support you may get discouraged if you do not provide clear and adequate information about your cause. Be generous instead of stingy when it comes to information because people are naturally curious. Anticipate questions that people would have and make sure to provide answers to your post or profile. To get ideas on what people want to know, you should likewise pay attention to the comments, suggestions, and inquiries that you receive on your page. 

Make it easy to help. 

To ask for help without giving clear instructions and options to people who want to respond is one of the biggest mistakes you can do. Do not make things hard for people by avoiding complex or incomplete instructions. If you are in need of volunteers, you may want to include a sign-up form or list contact details of people they need to get in touch with. For requests for cash donations, it pays to have a several options where people can deposit money.

Express gratitude. 

You want to encourage a habit of giving so do not forget to express how grateful you are for the help you receive. Even if you are doing things online, there are many creative ways to say thank you to the people who went out of their way to respond to your pleas. This practice will not only make people feel good about engaging in philanthropy, it can likewise encourage them to convince others to help.

Help other causes as well.

A non-profit organization should not see any group with the same advocacy as competition. Instead, nonprofits should empower and help each other. Thus, you can also use your social media page to show support to other charities. Sharing and promoting their posts even makes you a better philanthropist because you get to help more.

Today, social media is the best place for people who want to be seen and heard. It is therefore not so surprising why so many spend way too much time online. The good news is that there are many ways to  turn your social media time into meaningful and productive ones. One of that is by using it to support or campaign your chosen cause or charity. Make the most of the digital technology by using social media wisely. 

Brad and Julie DuncanSix Guidelines To Observe When Using Social Media for Philanthropy
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Can Your Philanthropic Ways Inspire Others To Do The Same?

Philanthropy is undoubtedly a noble act. No matter how small it is, your efforts to extend generosity to others can go a long way. So just imagine the positive impact it can create if everyone took a step towards philanthropy. A single person cannot possibly do everything all the time so charitable work is better and easier with collaborative effort.

In a way, this means that the ultimate goal of a philanthropist is to persuade others to be generous with their time and resources. However, spreading the benefits of altruism is not that easy. People can come up with all sorts of excuses to avoid supporting a cause or sharing what they can give. So what can you do to be an ambassador of kindness and altruism in your own little way? The following suggestions can help.

Tell stories.  

If you want to reach out to people, do not make your journey towards philanthropy a secret. You can start by sharing your experiences with others. Storytelling is an effective way to communicate ideas and engage your audience. By passionately explaining why altruism is a worthy activity, you have a great chance to convince others to follow your in steps. Aside from sharing your personal experiences, you can also share stories of the people you encountered while doing charity work. This is an easy way to clearly show others why they need to help and how their initiative can make a difference.

Send out invitations.

Sometimes people want to serve as volunteers or help out on a campaign but fail to do it because they simply do not know how. They may also be too shy or scared to approach anyone related to a cause they want to support. You can make this easier for them by personally inviting them and offering to accompany them to the place where you do charitable work. If your charity work involves making donations, you can teach them various ways on how they can share their monetary help. You may be surprised to know that some people only need a small nudge before they willingly start doing something for a good cause.

Offer choices.

Your invitations will be more effective if you point out specific ways about how someone can offer help. Aside from financial assistance, organizations heavily rely on volunteers to run and maintain their operations. They often need all sorts of assistance. For example,  an institution may need a teacher, nurse, artist or musician. Instead of simply stating that a particular group needs volunteers, directly state the skills or professions that are needed. Philanthropy becomes more appealing if you present it as a way to hone someone’s talents and abilities.

Give advice.

People may shun philanthropy because they associate it with difficulties. This is where excuses can come in. They may say they have no time for it or express worry that they may not enjoy it. You can ease anxiety over altruism by sharing tips and advice. One way to do this is by relaying your own struggles about philanthropy and how you overcame it. Try to be a living testimony that philanthropy should not be hard and someone may just decide to give it a shot.

Convincing others to try philanthropy may be far from easy but it is still a challenge worth taking. If your good deeds lead to inspiring others to do the same, you end up helping more people. Likewise, you are giving others a chance to experience the joy and satisfaction that come from doing philanthropic activities.

Brad and Julie DuncanCan Your Philanthropic Ways Inspire Others To Do The Same?
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Simple Ways To Instill The Virtue Of Altruism To Children

If every parent consciously makes an effort to ensure their children grow up with a passion to help others, the world would definitely a better place. However, our competitive society today seems to be so focused on accumulating wealth and valuables. This makes the task of raising kind-hearted kids that will then become responsible adults quite a challenge.

Kids may be exposed to various people and environments as they are growing up, but their most important influence will start at home. This gives parents ample opportunity to instill the virtue of generosity to their children.It would be such an achievement to raise a kid with a big heart and generous spirit.So make an effort instill the virtue of altruism with the following tips:

Practice generosity.

You can preach all day about the importance of sharing and giving, but actions speak louder than words. It is better to set a good example by being a living representation of what generosity means. You can do this by lending a hand to a neighbor or a friend in need. You can also let your kids tag along while you serve as a volunteer on community projects. Your children will likely emulate your behavior, so allow them to see you giving back to society.

Stress the importance of kindness to others.

In order for your kids to understand that kindness matters, gently discuss with them how their actions can create a huge impact on others. Tell them that some families or children are not as blessed as others, but people who are more privileged can do a lot to make things easier for them. Young minds can get overwhelmed or confused when you talk about injustice, sickness or poverty; so remember to keep the discussion age-appropriate. This practice will serve a double purpose because aside from encouraging empathy, you also teach them to be grateful for the things they have.

Choose a cause to support.

Raising a caring and giving kid will be effortless if you make charity a family affair. You can ask family members to choose a charity or cause and determine the one you will support by voting. It will also be a fun bonding moment for the whole family as all of you find ways and share ideas on how to help the chosen charity. Aside from that you also hone your child’s skills in brainstorming and planning. You may just be surprised with the insights and suggestions that you will get from your child.

Give them opportunities to share.

Your children will understand that giving is something that can be part of their daily life if you give them opportunities to share everyday. One way to do this is by allowing your kids to pack an extra sandwich or snacks to share with school friends. You can also encourage them to write a thank you or appreciation note to teachers or other people that they mingle with everyday. Aside from teaching them to be thoughtful and generous, you also teach them good manners that are essential life skills.

Recognize good deeds.

Do not forget to complement your child if you notice him or her being thoughtful about the needs of others. Keep your appreciation genuine and point out the specific outcome of the good deed done. Your praise will allow your child to feel good about being kind. It will also encourage positive behavior and build self-esteem.

Let them experience the fulfillment that generosity brings.

It is a nice bedtime routine to discuss with your child the good deeds he or she had done during the day. Ask your child how he or she feels after doing something good for others. Your child will likely feel fulfilled and happy, so it is a nice way to let them understand the benefits of giving. Let your kids know that in giving, they are also doing themselves a big favor.

Your children are your legacy. If you want to leave a lasting positive legacy to the world, focus on raising children who are caring and altruistic. As parents, this is one of your most important tasks and this is definitely one of the best gifts you can give humanity.

Brad and Julie DuncanSimple Ways To Instill The Virtue Of Altruism To Children
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Ready To Pursue Altruism? Four Things To Ponder On

Altruism sounds noble and heroic, a highly commendable act because of the many advantages it brings. By devoting time and energy to worthy causes, you contribute to the betterment of society and improve your overall well-being. The myriad of benefits that you can gain from philanthropic endeavors makes it easy to think that nothing can go wrong.

However there is a thin line between good and bad deeds. As Russian novelist, Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn put it, “The battle-line between good and evil runs through the heart of every man.” Philanthropy is meant to create a significant impact on the lives of others, but it will be a careless act if you do it without enough knowledge about a cause or unclear intentions about a charity. Thinking about the following factors listed below can help you prepare for your altruistic endeavors.

Consider your values along with your interests.

The first thing you have to do is decide which non-profit organization  you would you like to support. You can arrive at a good decision by taking into consideration your values and interests. If you are interested in the healthcare profession and want to help people cope with their illnesses, it may be a good idea to join a medical mission. Or if you love children and have a knack for teaching, you can be a volunteer tutor in an orphanage or children’s center. On the other hand, nature lovers can support environmental projects. Aligning your altruistic deeds with your values and interests will ignite your passion for a certain cause. Philanthropy will then cease to feel like work and becomes a very rewarding experience.

Check your intentions.

The reasons for doing philanthropy vary per individual. Some may do charitable work because they want to enhance a skill or simply to pass time. Sadly, there are also people who donate to charities or serve as volunteers because of vanity and recognition. Your reason for going into philanthropy should be clear right from the start. If you clearly define the results that you want to achieve, you gain inspiration to work towards the goals that you set. It will also help you measure the success of your efforts.

The organization and the cause it supports will benefit whatever reason a philanthropist may have for helping. However, if you truly want to gain the benefits of philanthropy, you need to do it to genuinely help others. A number of research studies prove the many benefits of doing philanthropy for others. One study published in Journal of Health Psychology proves the correlation between doing volunteer work and low mortality among old people.

Assess your knowledge, skills and resources.

Upon deciding which cause to support, start to think of the best ways you can help by assessing your skills and resources. If you have money to spare, the amount of financial support you can give will be much appreciated and go a long way. However, philanthropy is not limited to monetary means, so you should also assess how you can contribute with your skills and talents.

Along with this, you should also check your knowledge about the cause. You risk the chance of doing more harm than good if you are ignorant about the cause you are supporting. To gain enthusiasm about a project, you need to be aware of its history and missions. You can set some time to attend the orientation or training that an organization sometimes offer to new volunteers.

Gauge your willingness to commit.

Once you sign up to lend a hand to a group or project, be prepared to commit to the tasks given to you until the end. Your participation will hardly make a difference if you only exert effort at the start. Take a moment to check your schedule and see if other obligations will prevent you from committing to an organization wholeheartedly. You should also be aware of the challenges that come with the tasks so you can ensure you can complete them.

Philanthropy reminds us that we are here in this world to touch lives. That no matter how small, weak or insignificant you think you are, there is always something you can do to help. However, you do not want to be trapped in the middle of doing it for others or doing it for your own selfish interest. So, spend time on self-reflecting to truly feel the essence of your philanthropic efforts.

Brad and Julie DuncanReady To Pursue Altruism? Four Things To Ponder On
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These 3 Skills Will Make You a Better Philanthropist

Philanthropy: Active, ongoing effort in pursuit of improving human welfare. “Never respect people merely for their riches, but rather for their philanthropy; we do not value the sun for its height, but for its use.” (Gamaliel Bailey) We all desire to find purpose through giving. When confronted with a situation where sympathy and words of comfort aren’t enough, the logical next step is to take action. In this case: financial action. As with all things, there are best practices that boost the impact of your giving, keep reading for 3 skills of highly effective philanthropist.

The best philanthropists are:

1: Research-Oriented

Writing a check for the first cause that knocks at your door is tempting. It’s also unwise. Wherever your money goes, so goes your association. Providing funding essentially aligns your name, your brand, and your morals with that cause. Consequently, caution is crucial. Anything worth supporting is worth researching. Look into the history of the establishment, dissect its mission statement, study the staff. Ask questions. Take your time. Check more than one source. Once you do your due diligence if you still feel motivated to provide assistance, go forth with confidence. You’ve done your homework and can rest assured that you made the best decision for both parties. But don’t become lax. If this is a long-term partnership, make sure to schedule occasional check-ins to confirm that your values still line up with their current mission. Your research should also include asking the company whether your contributions are serving the purpose you intended them to, or whether changes need to be made. Stay engaged.

Being research-oriented also means actively seeking causes that pull on your heartstrings, instead of waiting for them to find you. Make a list of your passions and concerns, then look up charities and businesses that could use your help. Taking these steps will provide peace of mind that you’ve crossed your t’s, dotted your I’s, and are purposefully matched with the people or initiatives that you feel most inspired by.

2: Financially Responsible

Committing to donate a financial gift is a noble undertaking. However, we rarely contemplate whether those donations can lead to financial hardship for the giver. If you are considering making a philanthropic contribution, ask yourself these 2 questions: 1. Is your gift going to negatively impact your financial stability? 2. Do you have the means to commit to longevity? If not, step back and reevaluate your plan. It’s okay to wait until your funds are in order and donate a non-monetary gift (i.e. your time) in the meantime. Remember, once you step-up and decide to fill someone’s financial need, he/she may need your help again in the future. If you aren’t in a space where your budget allows you to help a second time, are you prepared to decline if asked? If not, avoid putting yourself in a position where you’re willing to incur debt or financial strain simply because you didn’t use enough discretion before initially volunteering aid.

Philanthropy should be a positive experience. It should bring you joy and satisfaction, not worry and monetary consequence. So, plan ahead and be smart about how you spend. There are many ways to better the community that involve no cost at all. There’s no shame in temporarily prioritizing your own financial stability in order to be a permanent philanthropist in the long run.

3: Reflective

The most charitable among us have mastered self-reflection. Here are some questions you should ask yourself about your philanthropic ventures.

  • Am I doing enough? Am I doing too much?
  • How is my charitable giving enhancing my life? How about the lives of others?
  • What goals can I set for my giving?
  • Have I handled all the paperwork and legal aspects of my charity?
  • What haven’t I done yet? Which causes have I missed?
  • Have I encountered any downsides to helping others? If so, how can I change my approach in the future to avoid those same experiences?

Regularly analyzing your thoughts, reflecting on lessons learned, and considering next steps will help ensure the highest level of effectiveness and satisfaction in your giving.

There are many nonprofit organizations, sponsorships, and fundraising campaigns that are in desperate need of empathy and action. Philanthropy serves to address exactly that. However, it’s important to put your best foot forward once you do decide to spring into action. Take a page from the pros and implement the 3 skills above and you’ll soon have fellow philanthropist asking for the secret to your success.

Brad and Julie DuncanThese 3 Skills Will Make You a Better Philanthropist
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