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Monday, May 21, 2012

10 steps to becoming a more effective philanthropist | Bruce DeBoskey, The Denver Post

When I read the word philanthropists, I think of wealthy people (and companies) that give a ton of money to nonprofit organizations in their communities and around the country and world. Even if the work of such people and companies in the business world bothers me for some reason, I'm grateful for their charitable contributions. That money certainly helps people, the arts, education, health research, and other worthy causes, including the environment, occasionally.

But as I was reading this article I decided I've been a philanthropist; my philanthropy has just been on a much smaller scale. Most of my giving has been through the combined charities campaign at my workplace. I've been a strong supporter and leader in such campaigns since I worked for United Way back in the late '70s.

Giving through the workplace is an "easy" to support good causes. Contributions taken from each pay check are hardly noticeable financially, yet the list on the payroll stub is a reminder about the regular gift. And building my monthly contribution on my hourly wage gave me a target to reach and eventually double and triple.

This article gives advice that I think is useful for small-scale philanthropists like me. Here's a summary of DeBoskey's suggestions:
  1. Determine why you're giving and what outcomes you want to achieve. ...
  2. Develop a strategy to achieve your goals. ...
  3. Volunteer your time. ...
  4. Involve your family. ...
  5. Research before you give. ...
  6. Give boldly in your lifetime. ...
  7. Go deep, not wide. ...
  8. Add charity to your estate plan. ...
  9. Evaluate and change. ...
  10. Start now. ...
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