What’s Your Philanthropic Footprint?

By Pete Parker

Do you or your business follow a charitable giving “plan”, or similar strategy, to make donations of time and dollar to charitable organizations?

  • If you do, is it working for you…for your business…for the community? Could you (or your business) be leveraging your giving to generate positive awareness, seek new customers, develop new friendships and relationships, recruit quality employees, and community goodwill more than you currently do?
  • If you don’t follow a plan, does this short list of benefits intrigue and interest you?

In the same light, what is your philanthropic “path”? Is it well paved and follow a pre-determined direction? Or, does it veer in several different directions? If you’re like many, your giving might be dictated simply as a result of being asked, regardless of the charitable cause or purpose. I ask because the vast majority of strong charitable organizations value the relationships they develop with their donors and volunteers. In fact, perhaps ideally like you, they’re looking to develop long-lasting and mutually-beneficial partnerships.

Many people and businesses receive requests to contribute to charities on a regular basis. In many cases, donors answer the call to donate money and volunteer their time. Giving triggers a sense of personal satisfaction and encourages us to believe that we’re making a difference and improvement in the lives of those we support. Some of us, though, would prefer that giving be handed according to our own terms and for needs closely aligned with our interests.

So, imagine the difference you can make if you followed a giving strategy…or ‘philanthropic’ plan. I bet you’d create closer connections to the charities (and their leaders) you support and, as a bonus, feel an even greater feeling of excitement through your passionate generosity. This targeted approach to giving enables you to filter your support as well as track your participation. Witnessing the impact created from your involvement is both exciting (via an immediate return) and vital to your future support.

It’s not much different from a corporate perspective, as businesses can create outstanding awareness, generate new leads and sales, recruit and retain top staff, and create fulfilling community partnerships.

So, I challenge you…our current and aspiring community leaders…to take a close look at your giving activities. Determine what’s working for you and if you’re interested in enhancing your “philanthropic” footprint. If you’d like help evaluating your giving practices, take a few minutes to complete a brief Giving Assessment.

Thriving communities rely upon inspired and active community members…aka leaders. What role do you or would you like to play?