There has been much debate what a philanthropist is and what they do, the dictionary description is someone who makes charitable donations intended to increase human well-being. And the definition of Philanthropy means focusing on the love of humanity.
It has long been held that philanthropists make things up as they go along and there are no rules or regulations that seem to govern them. Is there anything wrong giving money to charity or a good cause? Well in certain quarters it seems that even philanthropists have to adopt certain principles so that their actions are beneficial to society.
For philanthropists to be really successful they must adhere to ordinary businesses practices and must behave the same as any other commercial investors. They must understand fully what they invest in, and the greatest philanthropists understand the communities they are trying to help and how their money will affect those communities for good or bad.
A Tool for Discovery
Great philanthropists do not simply vie against governments who cannot afford or do not want to sponsor a particular cause. They push boundaries, boundaries of innovation, experimentation and how to do things better as a whole. Philanthropists should not just be free with their donations, they need to know their money has made a positive impact and provided aid now and for the future.
Understand who they are Helping
Many philanthropists give support and money without truly understanding who and what they are helping. They know little about the communities that their money will affect and decisions that are made are sometimes not always positive. Grant decisions should not just be left to the philanthropist, but also by people who know the effect of the grant donations.
What is the Differences Between Philanthropic Money and Government Money?
Philanthropic donations are independent, they are not subject to budgets and government policy, and they are unaccountable. This makes them quite dangerous as they are not accountable and if a person wants to give money to somebody it is totally up to them.
A government normally works to a schedule and a plan, a philanthropist sometimes does not. They can give one giant donation and never give again which can leave a good cause under financed in the long term. Good philanthropists will think long term, and to do things that are for the best and not necessarily the most popular.
Understanding the Complete Financial Implications
Philanthropists need to understand the big economic picture and the power their money can give to organizations and fundraisers. Sometimes a more measured approach is far better than simply splashing the cash, some charities continually ask for funds 24/7 but do not necessarily actually need them at a particular moment in time. Really good philanthropists do not reward people with donations but create strategies they want to achieve with their money.
Many great causes and ideas have been helped by philanthropists, and without their generosity great works of art, museums, and charitable causes may not have survived. Philanthropists can get involved in matters that governments sometimes cannot. However, philanthropists should have long terms goals and not just dip their toes in a great cause to really help human well-being.