You Too Can Be an Inspirational Philanthropist August 18, 2015

Part I

Too often we think that only the super wealthy can be world changing philanthropists.   Bill and Melinda Gates are trying to eradicate malaria; Phil Knight in conjunction with OHSU is seeking a cure for cancer; and Michael Bloomberg is focused on a safer world through gun control.  But, you don’t have to be rich to have a cause – and it doesn’t take a lot of money to change the world one person at a time.

We all know the story of the Widow’s Mite (Luke 21: 1-4). God does not measure how much we give; he measures how pure our heart is in our giving.

You do not have to be rich to be a philanthropist, neither do you become one just by writing a check to your church or to a charity once a year.  Philanthropy is about thoughtful giving, taking care, being deliberate, going beyond the expected and becoming involved.  It is about bringing your giving in line with your hopes for a better world.  The world can become a better place two people at a time; you doing the helping and the person you have helped.

Here are several easy steps to become an inspirational philanthropist.

  1. What are you values and your passions? Choose two to five issues or organizations which represent you.
    1. Organization examples: Your church, the Red Cross, GSM, Mercy Corps
    2. Values examples: World Hunger, homelessness, church planting
    3. Target population: domestic, international, local, children, cause, faith based, environmental, the arts, etc.


  1. Identify the mission and intention, or desired outcomes of your giving.
    1. “I want to help five people a year find a job and build an income for their family”
    2. “I want to help one woman who has been physically abused accept Jesus and know that she is loved and worthy”


  1. Think about your lifetime giving: how much do you want to give now or in the future? Will your legacy gifting being in line with your current good works?


  1. Research which organizations match your priorities.
    1. Talk to people and friends. Visit the organization.
    2. Evaluate the leadership of the organization, its vision and mission.
    3. Become more involved in the organization as a volunteer, a board member or a committee member.


  1. Decide what percentage of your giving you want to direct to each area of your interest and gifting.


  1. Decide how you want to be involved with the organization or Ministry in which you fund.
  2. Think prayerfully and deeply about the legacy in which you desire. How will you make the world a better place…one person at a time…through your family, your values and organizations you trust with those values.

That is what will make you an inspired philanthropist.

Over the next several months I hope to share with you two more blogs on this subject.  They will include topics such as how to care for your family and your values, my personal philosophy and why I made those choices, excellent resources freely available to assist you with your Legacy Philanthropy.

Blessings of Good Health and Peace…Ed M>




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