Making a Start on the philanthropy journey

Making a Start on the philanthropy journey

Posted on 11 August 2014
 
"What then do you need to consider doing as you embark upon your giving journey?" 
 

In my last blog I wrote about our recently published Philanthropy: Your Guide to Giving which has already proved to be a success with those clients that have read it. My next few blogs will summarise each chapter in the Guide to give you a sense of the full publication.

We created the Guide to Giving with the aim of supporting clients wherever they are on their giving journey. We hope it will act as a practical road map to help clients think through the issues, and that the information, case studies and tips it includes will inspire confidence and motivation to enjoy giving.

The first chapter entitled “Making a Start” aims to do just that – help the reader to think through some key questions before they begin. The theory being that the better your planning at the beginning, the more likely you are to achieve your goals.

So, let’s assume that you have woken up and decided this is the day that you want to get going on the charitable endeavour you have been meaning to start for some time.

Or perhaps you have been introduced to a particular cause that really interests you, or identified one which is very personal to you, which you believe has considerable need for support, or to which you really want to make a contribution. What then do you need to consider doing as you embark upon your giving journey?

All our accumulated experience with donors tells us that working through a period of reflection, self-questioning and research is the ideal way to start. Here are some of the questions you may want to consider in this initial phase:

  • What would you like to achieve or change?
  • Is this charitable activity personal to you alone,or do you want to involve others e.g.your partner, family members, work colleagues, friends?
  • How hands-on do you want to be personally? Perhaps one way to consider this is to think about how much time you wish to devote to your philanthropy activities.
  • Do you want to organise your giving through some kind of structured vehicle e.g. setting up a Trust or Donor Advised Fund?
  • Do you know what volume of funds you are thinking of giving each year, or at least at the outset?
  • What other resources and skills beyond money do you bring, or have access to, that could be of interest to charitable or social causes?
  • Are you prepared to have a profile that is public in relation to your philanthropy – or would you rather it remain private? What are the likely pros and cons of either approach, for you and for those to whom you may offer support?
  • How big is the change or difference that you want to make?
  • What is your time frame?
  • Are there other organisations that exist with a similar mission? Could you learn from, or collaborate with others?
  • Would you consider attending any educational training or workshops on the topic of giving?

Reflecting on questions like these, perhaps with reference to others who have been through such a process themselves, will help to clarify your thinking and to set some broad parameters for the journey ahead.

For more information about the Philanthropy Guide, please contact us.

Emma Turner, Head of Client Philanthropy 
 

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