Are you a philanthropist?
A recent Charity Navigator report* shows that in 2012, the majority of giving came from individuals. Donations totaled approximately $223 billion or 72% of all giving in 2012. Many people feel that this figure comes from the wealthiest of people and thus the term philanthropist does not apply to them.
According to the Merriam-Webster dictionary Definition of Philanthropy is as follows:
1 : goodwill to fellow members of the human race; especially : active effort to promote human welfare
- 2 a : an act or gift done or made for humanitarian purposes
- b : an organization distributing or supported by funds set aside for humanitarian purposes
Remember there are many things besides money you can donate to a charity:
- Time. Volunteering is the backbone of nonprofit work. Nonprofits would never survive without their volunteers. Find a task that you love and charity that needs you.
- Skills. Do you know how to cut lumber or sew? There are many skills nonprofits can use everyday.
- Professional services. All Nonprofits need lawyers and accountants at their inception and for yearly audits if they want to grow. This can be a big expense and take away from their ability to serve their purpose. There are lots of other professional skills needed too, from doctors, teachers, veterinarians, the possibilities are endless.
- In-kind donations. In-kind donations are donations of goods like food, clothes or postage stamps. These goods are used in the daily bsiness of the nonprofit or are passed on to those in need.
- Networks. Lending your connections or making introductions can be even more valuable to a charity than a cash donation. Sometimes a chairty gets stuck because they cannot manage to contact someone they need.
- Space. Many starting nonprofits exist on kitchen tables and in the back of cars. Loaning work or storage space can help a struggling nonprofit save money and use their resources for those who need it most.
If you are a giver then you are a philanthrhropist. It comes from your heart, not your wallet.
Sources: “Giving Statistics.” Charity Navigator. N.p., n.d. Web. 04 Aug. 2013.
Merriam-Webster. Merriam-Webster, n.d. Web. 04 Aug. 2013.