Hello SOTGC community,
I don’t know about you, but when I hear the word philanthropy, I think of very rich people and fancy fundraisers. Since most of us as individuals have not amassed personal fortunes large enough to rival the Rockefellers, Warren Buffett, or Oprah, it may seem that philanthropy is out of reach; I am here to tell you otherwise.
Philanthropy is a Greek word, which has been loosely translated to mean, the love of mankind. If we think of it that way, then it becomes possible for each and every one of us to become philanthropists!
And better yet, if you are acting out of a love for humanity, it is not even necessary to do so solely by writing a big check. Sometimes your love, attention, or time, are truly the best forms of giving.
Here are 10 ways that you can practice philanthropy (no matter what’s in your bank account):
- Donate your old clothes to Goodwill.
- Begin a practice of holding doors open for others whenever you get the chance.
- Say yes to the grocery store clerk the next time they ask if you want to donate $1 to the charity they are supporting.
- Volunteer your time to an organization you feel passionate about. Check out www.volunteermatch.org to find some great opportunities in your own local community.
- Drop off some old towels at your local animal shelter.
- Pick up a piece of garbage the next time you see some on your morning walk, instead of just walking by.
- Buy an extra can of soup when you do your shopping to put it into the food donation bin.
- Actually respond to the person on the street that asks you for money, even if your response is, “I’m sorry”. And better yet, you could also wish them a nice day. You don’t know just how much of a gift that might be.
- Visit sites like www.thehungersite.com (one click and money will be donated…no strings attached) or www.goodsearch.com (use their search engine, and money goes to a cause of your choice).
- Smile, AND say hello, to those you walk by.
While I do believe that it is our responsibility to help those that are less fortunate than us, I also think that goodwill can be extended to everyone we come in contact with. In this way, philanthropy is not only a practice, but more importantly, an attitude.