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
Read More

Are You Ready For Adventure Philanthropy?

We all need a little adventure in our lives. A quick break from our daily routines to venture into the unknown keeps the zest in life burning. Meanwhile, setting aside time for altruistic endeavors gives us a sense of purpose. Needless to say, adventure and philanthropy play important roles in making our lives happier and meaningful. These activities help us discover our strengths and weaknesses, and ideally makes us a better person. It is therefore a good idea to continually seek adventure and pursue philanthropy throughout life.

But do we have to do these two things separately? Apparently not, as these activities complement each other well. When you come to think of it, every philanthropic act is an adventure on its own. On the other hand, an adventure becomes more colorful and challenging when it opens an opportunity to lend help to others. It is no wonder then that adventure philanthropy or the act of tying up travel or other exciting activities with community outreach or social services is gaining popularity. There are groups and organizations offering adventure philanthropy for passionate adventurers who want to give back and have fun at the same time. You are likewise welcome to organize a philanthropic adventure of your own. However, just like any other venture, you cannot simply jump into it without fully understanding what you are getting yourself into. To gauge your readiness for adventure philanthropy, you may want to ask the following questions to yourself:

Have I done any research?

An adventure trip would be more memorable if you immerse yourself with the culture of the people.This would involve a lot of interaction with the locals. It would be beneficial if you can dig some valuable information about the place you will visit and the people residing on it. A bit of research will help you see and understand the problems in the area. You can also avoid making any offensive gestures or comments.  It will also help you empathize with the people you will meet on your trip. The more you know about the community you are visiting, the greater the chance to create a positive impact. 

Do I need proper training?

Some adventure travel may bring you to towns where people need medical assistance. In other places, you may have to offer psychological counselling. It is also possible to visit towns where children need  educational help. In cases like these, your intention to help may just not be enough because proper training is necessary. The organization you are with should offer some seminars and trainings before your trip to make you well-equipped to offer any assistance that may be needed. You can also check the services that you can render and give yourself proper training or education to be prepared.

What are the possible problems I may encounter?

Adventure is going out of your comfort zone so be ready to experience some hazards. It is advisable to study the area you will visit prior to the trip so you can assess the possible difficulties or problems you may encounter. You are free to decline a trip if you are sure that you will be a burden rather than an asset to a group. However, if you are determined to be adventurous and philanthropic at the same time, you strive to think of ways on how you can cope with the discomfort you may experience.

How can I apply my learnings to my own community?

Adventure travel is an opportunity to share and learn at the same time. The experience can give you fresh insights that you can apply to your own community as well. If you can extend help to people living in far places, you should also somehow make an effort to help the people in nearby communities that may be experiencing the same plight. So while doing altruistic work in a new place, keep your hometown in mind and you may just come up with ideas on how you can apply your new knowledge upon returning home. 

People travel and seek adventure to gain new experiences and create memories. For unique escapades that enrich the soul, you may want to give adventure travel a try. This activity is open to all but to create a lasting and positive impact, you first want to make sure that you are ready for it. 

Brad and Julie DuncanAre You Ready For Adventure Philanthropy?
Read More

Teen-Friendly Volunteer Projects for the Summer

“The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others.” — Mahatma Gandhi

Poolside lounging, backyard barbecues, beach vacations – three summertime staples that spark joy in almost all of our hearts. But the summer season wasn’t made just for rest and relaxation; the midyear sunshine is also perfect for philanthropy. Though many working adults don’t have the luxury of enjoying the same extended break their school-aged children have, luckily, philanthropy is an equal opportunity activity. When it comes to volunteering, the summer offers endless possibility and plenty of free time to pursue. Here are three teen-friendly volunteer projects for the summer.

1. Building
For those who don’t mind getting their hands dirty, why not dive into a building project? Charities like Habitat for Humanity and The Fuller Center for Housing build homes for people in need, while organizations like Bikes for Goodness Sake build bikes for underprivileged children. If your teenager’s heart lies in education, plenty of nonprofits like BuildOn Global dedicate their volunteer hours to constructing schools for underserved communities.

If building houses and schools requires too much physical exertion, think outside-of-the-box and create your own nonprofit or charity. The business can be as small and short-term as a weekend lemonade stand, or as complex and long-term as an online boutique of handmade crafts. Once the profits start rolling in, take the proceeds and donate them to a worthy cause.

2. Cleanup
Many of the spaces we occupy and enjoy require tedious, behind-the-scenes work to keep clean. However, the bright sunshine of summer provides the perfect motivation to lend a helping hand. Commit to sprucing up the neighborhood. Gather a group of friends and create a gameplan to clean up one (or a few) of the following spaces:

  • The Beach
  • A Heavily Littered Street
  • An Elder’s House or Yard
  • A Local Park
  • Your Neighborhood Common Areas

3. Social
Get social! For all the extroverts and social butterflies, your time and attention can prove to be a priceless gift. Help your fellow man by participating in a bit of good ol’ fashioned, face-to-face interaction. Consider visiting a rest home, hospital or hospice center and sharing your company. Enroll as a Big Brother or Sister (if you are over the age of eighteen) or offer your literary expertise to a summer reading program at your nearest library, bookstore or daycare.

“It’s easy to make a buck. It’s a lot tougher to make a difference.” — Tom Brokaw

Although the free time that accompanies summer break is traditionally consumed by self-serving pursuits, what better time to do more than is required? There are millions of causes, both locally and globally, waiting for the attention and action of a future philanthropist. You are never too young to make a difference. The leaders of tomorrow start by creating change today. So, this summer, encourage the teens in your life to get out of the house, take advantage of the sunshine and make a real-world impact through volunteerism.   

Brad and Julie DuncanTeen-Friendly Volunteer Projects for the Summer
Read More

Philanthropy: How to Give a Lot With a Little

The word philanthropy can be an intimidating term for those who feel they don’t have much to offer. But at its purest, philanthropy boils down to “goodwill to fellow members of the human race” (Merriam Webster). We all have the desire to better the world we live in and all it takes is a little effort. Here are three ways to give a lot with a little.

A Little Money

Billionaire philanthropists Bill Gates and Oprah Winfrey have the type of financial security that allows them to give with wild abandon. We can sometimes feel that our charitable contributions pale in comparison, consequently lowering their impact. But remember, despite the size or amount, all gifts are meaningful when they come from the heart. Even if you don’t have much to spare, something is always better than nothing at all. Here are a few ways to make your dollars count.

Make a Small, One Time Donation

  • Many people choose to donate when and what they can, even if that’s a small amount, one time. Be proud of your desire to give and initiative to act on it. Every gift makes a difference, and any recipient would be honored to accept your act of sacrifice and kindness.

Save Up to Give

  • If your budget is too tight to gift the ideal amount, pick a reoccuring minimal expense you can live without (i.e. coffee, eating out, Netflix) and give it up for a short period of time. Take the money you save and donate it to a cause of your choice.
  • Set aside a few dollars each month, then give the lump sum away for the holidays

A Little Thought

A little thought goes a long way. While financial offerings are often the only type of gift commonly associated with philanthropy, meaningful giving comes in all forms. To start, think of sentimental things people have done for you that made a lasting impression in your life. Make a list of your favorites, then isolate the acts of kindness you deem worthy of replicating.  Below is a list of (non-monetary) gestures to brighten someone’s day.

Make Something

  • Take inventory of your pantry and use ingredients you already have to make a delicious meal or dessert for someone in need
  • Upcycle old articles of clothing to make a fresh, one-of-a-kind outfit to donate to a local charity

Say Something

  • Know of a friend who needs a bit of encouragement? Speak up! A kind word at the right moment can be the ideal gift for someone who is down on their luck
  • If face-to-face interactions make you nervous, share your thoughts in writing. An email, text or handwritten note full of positive sentiments is sure to be received with warm gratitude   

A Little Time

Your time is finite, making it the most precious commodity you own. Unlike money and thought, you cannot earn or create time. Therefore, devoting a few hours to another person’s needs is one of the most selfless donations you can give. Try:

Spending Time with a Stranger

  • You’re sure to find your niche in a place such as a hospice center, the NICU of a hospital, an animal shelter or a food bank.  The investment of your time is an excellent way to show you care, while taking a hands-on approach to transforming lives.

Charles Dickens said, “No one is useless in this world who lightens the burdens of another.” Every effort to improve the happiness, well-being or safety of another is a grand gesture that should be undertaken with pride. You can be the change you wish to see, even if you do so little by little. Keep up the good work.

Brad and Julie DuncanPhilanthropy: How to Give a Lot With a Little
Read More

5 Creative Ways To Encourage Non-Profit Activities In the Workplace

People with generous hearts and altruistic spirits are valuable assets to any company they join. Their initiative and willingness to support a worthy cause demonstrate that they are hardworking and action-oriented individuals. These are surely the traits and attitudes companies are always looking for. From this point of view, you can see how any company will benefit from fostering a spirit of giving in the workplace.

This goal can be challenging as activities associated with altruism can be so typical or predictable that they fail to generate much interest. Most of the time charitable programs only include doing community service, pledging donations or running fundraising campaigns. So how can companies encourage employees to actively participate in philanthropic activities? Incorporating creative techniques can greatly help! Listed below are five creative ways to encourage non-profit activities in the workplace.

Make it a competition.

Games are a great way to snap people out of boredom, especially when it comes to philanthropy. Adding an element of competition in your company’s philanthropic event is likely to garner plenty of interest. You can liven up ways to support causes by turning them into a fun contest between different departments in the organization. For example, the team who can generate the most donations will win a big prize. Aside from helping the company raise more money for donations, this strategy will also inspire people to be creative and innovative. It can also strengthen a team and result in better work relationships between employees.

Include loved ones.

Even if they are passionate about helping others, employees will likely say no to an event that will steal precious time away from their loved ones. A company can eliminate this dilemma by allowing their employees to bring family members during a corporate charity event. This way, instead of thinking of ways on how to avoid an office event, people might instead look forward to it. How nice would it feel to do good deeds together with the people closest to you? This technique is a simple way to make the event more exciting, fun and memorable for everyone. Doing this will also show that your company is family oriented and values work-life balance.

Seek the opinions of your employees.

For altruism to pique the interest of more people, you need to come up with innovative ways of doing it. A good way to generate fresh ideas is by running surveys or asking for suggestions from employees themselves. You may be surprised by the ingenious suggestions you will receive. You can even offer a prize for the best idea. Meanwhile, running a survey will help ensure that the charity or cause you choose appeals to most people in the organization.

Focus on skill enhancement or learning.

Philanthropy is a great avenue to showcase one’s skills or talents and even learn new ones. In a workplace setting, the management can organize events that allow employees to share their special talents with those in need. Another approach is by assigning certain individuals to do things for charity that they don’t usually do in their line of work. For example, a computer programmer can be asked to tutor small children or a graphic designer can shop for food items to give away. This approach takes out the notion that altruism is a boring or dull activity. Moreover, presenting charity as a way for your employees to do the things they enjoy such as painting, singing or teaching will entice more people to participate.

Reward and recognize.

Generosity and altruism are positive concepts that most people want to associate themselves with, making philanthropy plenty rewarding on its own. However, it is still important to offer rewards or recognize people’s efforts in altruism. You want to let your employees know that you are noticing their good deeds. A simple reward or recognition will not only further fuel their generous spirit, it will also encourage other people to follow in their footsteps.

Philanthropy offers tons of benefits for both management and employees. It can boost employee morale, improve a company’s reputation and reduce attrition. To reap all of these benefits and more, a company should be ready to try creative ways to incorporate altruism in the workplace.

Brad and Julie Duncan5 Creative Ways To Encourage Non-Profit Activities In the Workplace
Read More

Everyday Philanthropy

We’ve all heard of the philanthropic undertakings of the millionaires and billionaires around the world and hoped to one day be able to do the same. But what if you could, even without needing a six-figure salary to get started? You can. Philanthropy is the act of sharing something, big or small, with someone in need. You have talents, skills and a unique community around you that qualify you to become the perfect full-fledged philanthropist. Here are five ways to practice everyday philanthropy.

Habitual Kindness
Foster a habit of being kind all day, every day. Kindness goes beyond simply being polite, it requires you to take the extra step to be generous and considerate as well. The difference is thinking deeper than superficial niceties by transitioning pleasant words into actionable care. Generosity inspires us to give more than is required. Consideration motivates us to be selfless in our thinking by employing empathy and thoughtfulness.

Use Your Free Time for Good
When a rare free moment presents itself, make use of it! You may only have an hour or even as little as a few minutes, but whatever time you do have can be put to good use. Consider these examples. If you are on the road and pass a fellow driver with a blown tire, pull over and ask how you can help. If you’re driving and have a very limited amount of free time, think smaller and use those spare moments to give a fellow driver time to safely merge in front of you. The goal is to look for ways to help throughout the day because no deed is too small.

Small Frequent Donations
You may not have tons of extra money lying around for the sole purpose of philanthropy and that’s ok. Small donations have helped many people in need. If you are able, vow to allocate a small amount to be set aside on a regular basis for donations. You can then take that money and distribute it how you see fit. Whether you choose to pay for a stranger’s meal, buy lemonade from a young entrepreneur’s stand or donate to a GoFundMe campaign, your dollars can make a difference.

Be a Good Neighbor, Friend, Coworker and Family Member
You don’t have to limit your philanthropic work to major charities or foundations, you can think local and improve the lives of the people in your circle. Many people around you could use a helping hand, but rarely ask out of fear of burdening others. Make it known that you are willing to fill in the gap. Let your friends, family, neighbors and coworkers know that you are looking for ways to help around the community and would love to contribute your time, skills or company. You’ll be surprised by just how many of the people around you are struggling in ways that you never knew.

Be Aware
The last way to expand your philanthropy is to be persistently observant. The more aware you are, the more you’ll start to see the vast number of philanthropic needs that surround you every day. Be an active listener and you’ll start to hear unresolved problems that you may be able to help with. Open your heart to unexpected opportunities that will allow you to contribute to the lives of others. Once you tune in, as a willing ally, your next philanthropic venture will find you.

Kindness is contagious. Why not be the one who starts the chain? It doesn’t take much to make a large impact in someone else’s life. Everyday philanthropist make the world a better place by taking the initiative to create a difference.

Brad and Julie DuncanEveryday Philanthropy
Read More

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?
Read More

Have You Been Generous? Year-End Reflections For A Better 2019

“Giving pays the highest interest rate, and has the longest term,
of any investment available.” Jeffrey K. Wilson

It seems like just yesterday you welcomed 2018 with a bang and in a flash, the last month of the year is here! If you are wondering where the year went and how well you have done, a little self reflection can help. There are many ways to measure how fruitful the year has been but one unique way to do it is by assessing how generous you have been. The positive effect of of even a simple act of kindness can inspire others to pay it forward.

Generosity can be life changing and is likely to have a ripple effect. If you exerted efforts to give back to society, then you can indeed conclude that it had been a wonderful and productive year. Reflecting on your philanthropic endeavors can likewise help you prepare for a better year ahead. It is a great way to wrap up up the year and welcome the new one on a positive note. Here are three questions to ask yourself for a meaningful year-end reflection.

Are you sincere and passionate about giving?

Philanthropy is a rewarding activity for many reasons. For one, a study revealed that a caring attitude increases life expectancy. However, the benefits that you will gain from altruism should not be your primary reason for doing good deeds. Your journey on philanthropy will be purposeful if you do it with a genuine desire to extend a helping hand to others.

Forget your selfish reasons and focus on how your actions can benefit others than yourself. our sincerity will not be a question if you truly enjoy doing philanthropic activities. It will therefore greatly help to choose a cause that is close to your heart or will allow you to do the things you love. If you are passionate about doing charitable work, your actions are likely to feel more rewarding than tiring.

Do you practice philanthropy in your daily life?

Charitable activities may bring to mind a formal volunteering event or supporting a particular fundraising campaign. The true philanthropist, though, understands that being charitable is not a one-time act or event. Rather, it is a way of life. If you pay close attention to the needs of others you can discover numerous ways to practice philanthropy as you go about your day. So grab any chance you can get to offer help to the people you interact with everyday. Try incorporating generosity in your daily agenda and you may just see positive improvement in your life.

What else can you do to give more?

If you have been regularly contributing to a particular cause, you can discover more ways to serve others or help an organization. Maybe you can recruit more volunteers or train new ones. You can probably act as a leader of a team, too. Growth is possible even in your philanthropic life so do not be afraid to take new and more challenging responsibilities if you feel ready for it.

In the end, your reflection regarding philanthropy can make you feel accomplished or melancholic. In case your reflection leads to an awareness that 2018 has not been good in terms of altruistic activities, resist the urge to wallow in regret. The good news is that you still have December to share your blessings and spread kindness. You do not have to worry f your holiday schedule is so full that it is impossible to squeeze in philanthropy on your list. With the new year approaching, you will soon have twelve whole months to plan and carry out generous activities.

Brad and Julie DuncanHave You Been Generous? Year-End Reflections For A Better 2019
Read More

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
Read More

Three Approaches to Corporate Philanthropy You Can Implement

Corporate philanthropy is the act of contributing time, attention, publicity, products or money to a charitable cause. This concept has become a staple amongst modern business models. Increasingly, large companies are deciding to implement philanthropic programs that serve the communities in which they operate. Keep reading for three acts that fall under the corporate philanthropy umbrella.

  1. Donation: In the business world, donating is a common form of philanthropy. This method of corporate giving is popular because it delivers a quick turn around period from idea to action. When donating, the money or product can be provided by one of three sources: your employees, your customers or the business’ own savings/inventory. Whether donating time, ideas or goods, your organization can meet a need without having to engage in multiple tedious planning sessions to accomplish the goal. Donating can be as simple as calling a charity to learn what its needs are, then sending a company-wide email that states the cause, wish list items and the deadline. It can even be done with no employee involvement if the company chooses to front the bill itself. Below are a few ideas of different approaches to corporate philanthropy through donation:

  • Donate products.
  • Donate pro bono services.
  • Donate technology.
  • Donate expertise.
  • Donate a portion of sales made.
  • Donate all proceeds towards a cause.
  • Match employees’ monetary donations.
  • Create a program where employees can voluntarily donate an amount that will be automatically deducted from their checks .
  • Host a drive (food drive, blood drive, back-to-school drive, Thanksgiving drive or Christmas drive).
  • Ask customers/clients to donate to the organization, with the guarantee that the company will oversee the delivery or pickup of the donated items.

  1. Sponsorship: Sponsorship covers the financial backing of an activity, group or individual in hopes of providing opportunity or access that didn’t readily exist. Sponsorship can range from anonymous financial support to hands on, public involvement. For example, assistance can be limited to solely financial support, allowing the recipient to handle any required planning, maintenance or management. On the other end of the spectrum, sponsorship could entail funding, hosting and upkeep (if the commitment is long-term). Here are a few sponsorship examples:
  • Sponsor an event (fundraiser, tournament, camp, class, dinner, etc.).
  • Provide scholarships.
  • Sponsor a group, troop, team or club (The Boy or Girl Scouts of America, a high school club, a little league team, etc.).
  • Sponsor the development of a service or technology that benefits an underserved population.
  • Offer grants to creators/researchers who work in a field your company aligns with.

  1. Raising Awareness: As a public entity, your corporation has a platform and voice that most individuals don’t possess. Your brand’s influence and reach is wide and you’ve built a large audience. All of these factors work together to create the ideal environment for raising awareness. This form of philanthropy is unique because it’s heavily dependent on the exposure you provide, rather than the funds. Raising awareness can appear as a dedicated section or link on your website, a mention in a commercial or a visual in your establishment. This approach works best when attempting to inform the public of a social issue, disease or tragedy. The goal is to inspire the reader to take action. You may champion against bullying or advocate for cancer research. You could shine a light on a global matter or provide statistics about childhood hunger. Whatever the cause, after informing, align the next steps with an organization that works in that field. The more people who empathize with a problem, the more likely it is to be addressed.

Philanthropy is a noble undertaking that should be approached with dedication. In the corporate setting, businesses have both the resources and the manpower to increase the impact of their giving. No matter which way you choose to give back to your community, the lives you touch will forever be changed for the better.

Brad and Julie DuncanThree Approaches to Corporate Philanthropy You Can Implement
Read More