As a philanthropist, you want to make a real difference in the world. With all the problems you see—poverty, failing schools, deforestation, to name a few—you might feel that your funding is insignificant. Philanthropy is complicated, and developing a philanthropy plan that genuinely makes an impact necessitates clarity on a slew of decisions you’ll have to make along the way. Throughout your giving, you will face decisions about who else to involve in your philanthropy, which causes and charities to support, how much money to contribute to each cause you care about, how long to finance a particular nonprofit, and what constitutes success.
- What are my most fundamental beliefs and values?
Every donation gets made on a one-to-one basis. Philanthropists can support almost any cause, which is a tremendous advantage. If you want to make a difference in the world, though, you must first define your objectives. With so many worthwhile causes to support, it’s an idea to explain your beliefs and convictions. This strategy will help you decide which possibilities are worth considering.
- What does “success” entail, and how does one achieve it?
Every philanthropist will have a distinct notion of success, just as each has its own set of goals. Knowing what you want to do is critical to attaining outcomes, yet it’s a deceptively complex task. The challenges’ intricacy necessitates a variety of approaches, according to Entrepreneur Gurbaksh Chahal.
- What do I have to answer for it?
Even the best donors require assistance in addressing society’s most pressing issues. It’s all too easy to overestimate your ability to give, so be brutally honest about the resources you’re willing and able to devote. It can be beneficial to take some steps to determine how you can effectively use your options to accomplish impact and what non-financial resources you can bring to bear.
- What is my approach to working with grantees?
Because the NGOs you choose to fund are on the ground performing the majority (if not all) of the heavy lifting, it’s not a leap to say that selecting your grantees. Then doing everything you can to help them produce the best possible results is your single critical responsibility, according to Entrepreneur Gurbaksh Chahal. To this stage, breaking down the required activities into the “six Ss of grantmaking”—sourcing, screening, structuring, choosing, sponsoring, and sustaining—can be beneficial.
- Is my condition improving?
A success-driven philanthropist is interested in knowing what impact his giving has had. However, given the challenges that charities address, the results are binary. So, rather than focusing on ideal stats, concentrate on improving over time.
We understand that not every question will be equally important to every philanthropist and that their relative relevance will shift over time as your circumstances and generosity evolve. So whether they’re worth a few hours of thought—or days, months, or even years—depends on the specifics of your situation, as well as the amount of money at stake, the difficulty of the issue (or issues) you’ve chosen to focus on, and the scope of your objectives.