Whether you are participating in personal or corporate philanthropy, there is a number of do’s and don’ts one must abide by. It is imperative to learn these rules prior to taking the dive and donating one’s time, energy, money, and influence to even the most worthy cause.
With that being said, let us discuss the “don’ts” of participating in philanthropy:
Do not choose to focus on multiple causes at once. Granted, there are countless organizations and causes that deserve your support. However, it is imperative that you take your time and prioritize the cause that matters the most to you. Otherwise, you may find yourself struggling to touch too many issues — even some you may not care as much about — and ultimately fail to meet your objectives.
Do not overcommit. Along that same vein, it is important that — once you do choose a singular issue to focus on — you do not overcommit your time, money, or other resources. Philanthropy is incredibly time-consuming, and failing to gradually introduce oneself to this new routine will only lead to that individual being stretched too thin and feeling immensely overwhelmed.
Do not be hesitant to adopt new ideas. It is easy to get set in your own ways. However, in our ever-changing world that is constantly affected — and typically improved — by technology and other developments, it is imperative to keep an open mind.
Therefore, it would greatly benefit you and your efforts to listen to varying opinions — after all, it can do you no harm, as you still choose what to do with your funds at the end of the day. However, you will likely be surprised by all that you learn — so much so that you may even implement some of it. Either way, this is a win-win scenario for all involved.
Do not skew your priorities. If you are a grantmaker, it is crucial that you take the needs of your grantees into consideration rather than prioritizing your own. After all, they are the ones directly involved in aiding the cause you are so passionate about.
However, depending on what your grantees need, it is important that you involve yourself in the appropriate way. For example, if they need material goods that you cannot supply, broker relationships between your grantee and a provider in your personal network. This is an excellent reminder that being a grantmaker is not all about writing checks.