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Be an Everyday Philanthropist: Give Your Time, Treasure, & Talent

You can be an everyday philanthropist no matter your financial situation or your stage in life. The etymology of the word ‘philanthropy’ states the origin of the word comes from the Greek word philanthropia meaning, “kindliness, humanity, benevolence, love to mankind.” This kindness towards humanity doesn’t mandate donating million dollar checks. So my question to you, how are you a philanthropist in your everyday life?

 

My current vision statement reads, “Impact communities by encouraging individuals to define their own paths, handle their responsibilities, and to give back while on their journeys.” The last part of this vision statement is the focus of this blog post. I hear too many people say they can’t be a philanthropist until they’re able to donate a large sum of money. I say ‘hogwash’ to that mindset! Country club galas aren’t the only venues for philanthropic endeavors — there are a lot of different ways to give back, so let’s explore what makes sense for you.

 

My challenge to you is to find a way to give back to the world in three ways: through your Time, Treasure, and Talent. In the rest of this article, we’ll define these three areas as well as share my personal stories to help you generate ideas. I also encourage you to download and print this worksheet so you can outline your future research and efforts as you give your Time, Treasure, and Talent!

 

A worksheet to help you give your Time, Treasure, and Talent


Give Your Time

 

Showing up and being a set of extra hands can help more than you know for community projects. Digging ditches, painting over unwanted graffiti, volunteering at the soup kitchen, socializing with people in retirement homes, or sorting donated goods.

 

These tasks aren’t always glamorous, but they can save money and resources for nonprofits. By you donating time, this frees the paid staff to focus their efforts elsewhere to ensure their organization is benefiting the public good.

 

At the same time, giving your time doesn’t have to only translate into volunteer efforts. You can be intentional with your time to give back to others and the world through your everyday efforts. Giving your time means making time for others.

 

For example, reach out to people who want to hear from you (AKA Grandma), provide guidance as a mentor, and let that motorist cut in while you’re stopped in traffic. You can be a philanthropist by simply supporting others and/or letting others have a more convenient life on your behalf.

 

Remember the fact that philanthropy translates to kindliness? This means that “random acts of kindness”can make you an Everyday Philanthropist!

 

To give you ideas, here are practical ways to get started so you can give your Time:

 

 

  • Schedule time on your calendar to make time for others in your network and/or your community.

 

  • Reach out to your schools to see how you can be a mentor to students.

 

Give Your Treasure

 

Money alleviates a lot of financial stress for nonprofits. A current controversial debate is how to gauge the efficiencies of nonprofits. Overhead is considered a ‘dirty word’ in the nonprofit world. To understand this issue better, here are two TED Talks presenting a different opinion:

 

 

If you have the financial means to donate money, then do it by making a recurring donation. For example, I give $10 per month to my local public radio station so I can feel like I’m contributing to the content and journalism I rely on daily. This also provide guilt free listening!

 

If you don’t have the financial means to donate, then you have stuff to give. How about that closet filled with supplies or clothes you can give away? Or how about keeping granola bars in your car to give to hungry people on the streets? Your treasure means the stuff you have– these can be financial resources or physical items.

 

To give you ideas, here are practical ways to get started so you can give your Treasure:

 

 

 

 

  • Donate goods to local nonprofit organizations
    • Electronics
    • Office Supplies
    • Household items
    • Keep granola bars in your car to give to people on the streets

 

  • Buy Amazon items by using Smile.Amazon.com
    • A portion of eligible purchases can go to your favorite nonprofits

 

 

Give Your Talent

 

You have professional skills that can better the infrastructure of community organizations. Instead of stacking shelves, raking leaves, or stuffing boxes, ask an organization how you can use your skills to better their efforts.

 

What’s nice about giving your Talent is that you’ll sharpen your own skills, network with like-minded people, and also gain interesting experiences while giving back.

 

For example: say you’re a comfortable with data input and computers. When I was unemployed after graduating college (thanks 2008 Financial Crisis), I volunteered with the San Diego Zoo Global Conservation Efforts to digitize thousands of donor profiles. This month long project kept me busy and made me feel productive while I was unemployed. I became better at Microsoft Excel, and it was fun networking with the administrative team.

 

Unsure how to start giving your Talent? Here are some ideas:

 

  • Join your local Social Venture Partners (SVP) chapter to be an engaged philanthropist as a nonprofit consultant so you can improve other nonprofits’ business infrastructures.
    • One of my favorite parts of this organization is that SVP exposes you to multiple projects in your local community.

 

  • Serve on a Nonprofit Board to better a specific area.
    • If you already know what cause you’re passionate about, tell the organization that you’re interested to better their efforts.
    • There are also numerous resources to help you find a nonprofit board position:

 

  • Volunteer for your local trade association to better your profession

 

  • Spearhead your own projects with philanthropic angles
    • Host collection drives, fundraisers, or other events to inspire others to join you as an Everyday Philanthropist
      • Mark June 7th, 2018 on your calendar to attend our Team Trivia-tronic to support Blue Star Recyclers!
        • We’ll be raising money and collecting small electronics for this award winning nonprofit. You can finally get rid of those old mp3 players!

 


The Benefits to Being an Everyday Philanthropist

 

The phrase, “The more you give, the more you get,” has a lot of truth to it. My own philanthropic efforts impact my life trajectory in ways that I would never have imagined! New contacts, skills, and experiences presented themselves. Nevertheless, the best part is knowing that this use of Time, Treasure, and Talent improves the world in some way.

 

If you’re ever in a funk, you’ll be happy to know that you have philanthropic efforts in your life because you’ll receive those warm fuzzy feelings after giving back. You forget about your own problems and begin to focus on how you can help others with their problems. Humans are social creatures and we want to ensure that our life has some meaning. When you give back to help others, you can’t resist that feeling of being meaningful.

 

So how are you going to be an Everyday Philanthropist? For another nudge, here is another link to the worksheet so you can start your own journey!

 

A worksheet to help you give your Time, Treasure, and Talent

 


For further reading, I recommend you read Bob Burg’s The Go Giver so you can implement this giving mindset into your life.

 

Also, to give credit for the inspiration behind this concept of giving your Time, Treasure, and Talent, I must acknowledge my friend, Pat Landrum, who is the Executive Director of Social Venture Partners – Denver. It was an amazing experience to be part of this group and I highly recommend exploring this community for your Everyday Philanthropist efforts.

 

Thanks for reading and if you want guidance on how to navigate your personal finances, please get in touch with me or learn more at Well-Rounded Success’ Services on the website.


Daniel C. AndrewsAbout the Author

Dan Andrews is the Leader & CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ of Well-Rounded Success. Dan enjoys guiding and encouraging millennials through their ‘adulting’ responsibilities. His behavioral-finance style focuses on helping individuals in the Well-Rounded Success community define his/her own definition of success, make good decisions, and to also be philanthropic while along their journeys.

Cover Photo by Jessica Ruscello on Unsplash

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