How to Become a Successful Philanthropist

Helping people in need is both one of the most rewarding and important callings we have in life. But making these philanthropic impacts can sometimes be a bit of a challenge, if you don’t know where to start or how to reach and touch the lives of as many people as you can. Remember these three tips on your journey to becoming a successful philanthropist. And, you will be well on your way to effectively helping and improving the lives of the most people as possible in no time!

Forget about the praise

Remember that the work you are doing and all the efforts you devote to your philanthropic goals are ultimately not for you. Philanthropy exists to serve others, so don’t let the attention, glory, and admiration, that will no doubt come with a successful and effective philanthropy, get in the way of helping others. Keep your focus on your goals and the lives you are improving – that’s what makes everything worth it. All the other stuff that comes with it is just icing on the cake.

Create a sense of urgency

Grow your project by spreading the word. Inform others of the issues you are passionate about – and deliver your messages with importance. Tell them why you believe this particular issue is one worth fighting. Inform them with factual information and specific examples. Do your research and know your facts so you can effectively convince people why they should be passionate about it too.

Use the power of the single story

Use the power of the single story to spread this sense of urgency. Single stories are stories that tell the narrative of just one person.  They give a personal, and sometimes emotional, glimpse into someone else’s reality. They share honest details of what life is like for someone else. By sharing the facts of someone’s story with others, you will not only spread awareness about your cause, but you will also make others care about it as well.

Remain mindful of the danger of the single story

But be wary of using the power of the single story because, just as they can be used to spread awareness and urgency about your cause, they can also be easily manipulated into stereotypes. When telling one story it is almost second nature to assume that everyone else who has had similar life experiences has felt the same way or faced the same challenges. So know a variety of stories and share a balance of them.

At the end of the day, whether you are “successful” or not in philanthropy, is not the main goal. The main goal is serving and blessing others in the way that you have been. As long as you are giving back with a clear mind and a full heart, you need nothing else!

Brad and Julie DuncanHow to Become a Successful Philanthropist
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Is Success a Destination?

Before you clicked on this article, you probably figured that the answer to, “Is success a destination?” was a resounding, “No.” Well, if you guessed that, then you’re absolutely correct. Success is not a singular destination. There are many paths on the way to success, and success doesn’t look the same to any two travelers along the way. Success is so much more than a destination, and frantically peeking at other people’s roadmaps to success will only land you smack-dab in the middle of misery central.

Is Success a Destination?

More Than a Destination, Success is a Journey

As with happiness (and other worthy virtues to strive for), the journey on the way to success is vastly more important than the arrival.

If you stay focused on the destination alone, you would miss all of the brightest moments on your journey to success. There will be twists, and there will be turns. There will be steep cliffs off to one side, and the longer you travel along the winding road, the more striking views you’ll encounter through your windshield.

Make sure to take snapshots of those monumental moments. You’ll be glad you have proof of the journey once you’ve reached the end of your metaphorical road.

Success is Not a Destination; It’s a State of Mind

When you get it in your head that success is not a finite destination and is, instead, a state of mind, then your whole perspective on failure will change. Defeatists will believe that failure means the end of their journey to success.

People who have a positive outlook on success and recognize that it’s a state of mind will be able to see failure for what it is. Each failure is an opportunity to learn and to grow. Failure is not the end of the road; it’s a way to reroute your metaphorical GPS.

Beyond a Destination, Success is What You Make It

No one can tell you precisely what success is. Just as one man’s trash is another man’s treasure, one man’s success is another man’s failure. That’s why it’s vitally important not to compare journeys. Trying to keep up with the Joneses is the death of success.

Success is what you make it, so make the most of what you’ve been given.

Brad and Julie DuncanIs Success a Destination?
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Tips for New Philanthropists

New to the philanthropy scene? Not to worry, we have some universal tips for new philanthropists. Even if you’ve been in the business of helping others for as long as you can remember, it doesn’t hurt to take a quick refresher course on best practices.

Tips for New Philanthropists

Learn From Those Who Have Come Before You

When you’re first starting out as a new philanthropist, it’s important to recognize that you’re not the first person to pursue this particular corner of philanthropy. No matter how specific the need you’re fulfilling is, there’s a great chance that someone before you has tried to solve the same problem. If not, there’s been someone who’s tried to solve a remarkably similar issue.

Regardless, the best place to start as a new philanthropist is at the very beginning. As commonsensical as that may seem, it’s an undeniable truth. Start by learning from those who have come before you, so you never make their same mistakes, and you can build upon their experiences, rather than reinventing the wheel.

Figure Out How to Define Your Own Impact

That being said, as a new philanthropist, you have to figure out a way to define your own impact. You can build upon the work of those who have come before you, but you must always to remember to make your impact your own.

Philanthropy is one of the best, most positive ways to make your mark on the world. Make sure the message you scrawl out on the sands of time is one of hope.

Seek Only Sustainable Philanthropy

Speaking of the sands of time, consider that every philanthropic act you take will have reverberating consequences that will last long after you’re gone.

When you’re looking for opportunities to do good in the world, be sure that the work you sign up to do is sustainable philanthropy. Sustainable philanthropy is the kind that can continue without your help—or anyone else’s outside help, for that matter.

With regard to sustainable philanthropy, the work you do in other communities, or even in your own community, should be able to be taken over by the people within that community with ease.

The best legacy you can leave is one of having helped others to help themselves.

Brad and Julie DuncanTips for New Philanthropists
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