I know you, you are a giver. How do I know this? It is a common theme shared by my community members. You might not even KNOW the ways in which you give. Certainly with the year coming to an end you are receiving requests and reminders for charitable donations. And if you are able to make financial donations, that is terrific! But giving is not just about money.
For you, the decision to give is probably easy. It is part of who you are. You want to give, to make a difference, to contribute. The decisions about giving, like how to give, when to give and who or what to give to are not always easy. Did you know that there is a guide to giving? It is called GIVING 2.0: Transform Your Giving and Our World by Laura Arrillaga-Andreessen. I was GIVEN the opportunity to read an advance copy. What immediately jumped out at me was that this book is like a strategic plan for giving. I ask you to be strategic in your treatment of others, to think about how you want to develop your soft skills, why shouldn’t you be strategic in your giving? And why wouldn’t you want the way in which you give back to make the greatest impact possible?
How and what to give are important decisions. Will you volunteer with your family or with a friend or partner, or will this be something you do by yourself? Will you set up a fund to go to a cause that you believe in? Will you plan a fundraiser? Maybe you would like to start your own non-profit.
GIVING 2.0: Transform Your Giving and Our World, helps you consider the many options that are available to you. There are checklists and questions to help you to define your strategy and to become really clear about how you want to give, there are action items so that once you make a decision you know how to ‘make it happen’. Perhaps best of all there are the stories about real people and how they have incorporated giving into their lives. These are people like Taylor a twenty-year-old from Los Angeles who asks his family to make online donations instead of giving Christmas presents and Ben, a senior IBM executive and son of an immigrant, who inspires students to study math, science, and engineering. In other words people like you, like your families and like your friends.
If you are curious, be sure to check out http://giving2.com/; you will find some excellent resources to support you. I also want you to know that the author Laura Arrillaga-Andreessen is donating 100% of her royalties.
I thought a philanthropist was someone who was super rich, gave millions of dollars and had entire buildings or wings of buildings named after them. But according to this quote “A philanthropist is anyone who gives anything – time, money, experience, skills, and networks – in any amount to create a better world.”
Guess what? You are a philanthropist.