In a quiet, subtle, and yet major way, the art of philanthropy has undergone considerable changes over the past several years thanks to a dawning emphasis on foundations. The assorted corporate, private, and family foundations that have been created over the past several decades offer considerable philanthropic advantages. More and more people are catching on, and are donating to such foundations due to the effectiveness associated with doing so.
How Foundations Make a Difference
Foundations have made a mark over the years stemming from the focus they bring to health-related issues. At a foundation level, the dedication and desire to make a difference is such that their impact can be considerable. Meanwhile, the emergence of the Internet and crowdfunding mark just two examples of the possibilities inherent at the intersection between technology and giving.
Learning: Foundations are growth-oriented at a structural level, which means there’s a built-in desire among its leaders and staff members to continually learn. Learning calls for accessing new methods of donation, such as via the Internet, establishing and connecting with new groups of potential donors, and continuously adjusting the scale, aims, and management of the foundation itself.
Leveraging: This is a method by which foundations can use their assets to learn from each other through cooperation and information-sharing. Oftentimes, different foundations can benefit by coming together on a common effort. Leveraging means using a foundation’s assets to assist with outside projects while sharing knowledge, all so they [and those around them] can become better at what they do.
Meanwhile, moving beyond the foundation level, individual philanthropists also have assets they can use to play a significant role in their communities.
The Role of the Individual Philanthropist
In the community of philanthropic interests, individuals who have the wherewithal to donate large sums of their own money, or who can rally others to their cause, are always standouts.
Flexibility: Because individuals are not necessarily tied to a particular organization, they have the flexibility to try out new angles and approaches in the course of giving. This added flexibility allows them to learn new techniques and access “Knowledge Commons” from which they can gain new information.
Focus & Dedication: The individual who’s dedicated to a particular cause is a powerful entity in and of him/herself. As such, they can have a powerful impact on their communities. By being living models of focus and dedication, they act as lightning rods for their causes, drawing in attention, support, and resources.
So the age of the individual philanthropist isn’t over. It’s just now meshing with a more foundation-oriented environment. By focusing on new ways to raise and distribute funds, these two forms of givers can continue to light up the grid of ongoing research, assistance, and awareness, ultimately tackling problems of countless kinds.