Being a giving person requires determination and a willingness to step up to the plate. Many people are under the misguided impression that you can only complete acts of kindness when you have a surplus of money. This is simply not true. In order to contribute and do good things, all you need is the drive to give back. Money is not the only resource in the world. You can donate your time, your clothing, your food, your talents, etc. If you decide to contribute, nothing can stop you. Even so, it’s easy to let your mind get in the way of your heart, preventing you from taking action and giving back. If you want to overcome such an impediment and give back to society, consider the approaches mentioned below.
Jonah Engler on planning a philanthropic journey
Choose a cause and donation method
Some things may be close to your heart— shortlist two to three organizations that serve your purpose. Once you have names and causes that you want to support, you can decide when to give, what to give, and how much you are able to give. You can opt for monthly or annual donations. Or, you can start a foundation to cater to a cause you identify with that is not already in the spotlight. Contributions to non-profits can be made through cash, check, credit cards, mutual funds, bonds, stocks, retirement plans, legacy, etc. Your investment can enable organizations to cure a social ill. If you think a recurring donation would be prudent, and if it is something you can afford, do that!
If you go with a donor-advised fund, you can keep a charitable fund and receive a tax benefit in return. Your allotted amount will remain in a giving account registered with a public charity until you determine where you want your money to go. Your money can go to a group of individuals, a company, a family, etc. If you associate with a private foundation, you often receive, in return for your contribution, the power to make decisions on future grants and investments.
The philanthropic mindset
When you talk to philanthropists like Jonah Engler, you realize that philanthropy is truly a mental disposition and a mindset. The power to give is all in your head. Maybe you don’t have enough accrued wealth or a financial advisor. Perhaps there are too many barriers, for now. That is okay! You can be passionate about a cause and contribute your activism and time regardless of your personal wealth. It is just so important to remember that philanthropy is not all about money. In all honesty, no donation is too small. Anything and everything counts.
So, don’t think you can’t contribute. Everyone has the power to give; all it takes is passion, drive, and a creative solution. If you can’t offer monetary assistance, you can use your time and talent by volunteering for a cause or organization. It is truly that easy.