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Tuesday
Jun072011

How do I become a philanthropist?

How do I become a philanthropist?

Many people believe that the only way to become a philanthropist is to earn lots of money and then give lots of it away. This is not the only way. In fact, some modern definitions of being a philanthropist does not involve giving money away at all!

You certainly do not have to be rich to become a philanthropist, but it is also more involved than only writing one check to charity each year. A philanthropist is anyone who gives of themselves to increase the well-being of humankind usually through charitable aid or donations. Philanthropy is about being caring, thoughtful, going above and beyond, and most importantly - getting involved. Simply put, a philanthropist offers acts of human kindness.

Philanthropists should not have expectations of being paid as a reward, but rather enjoying the reward of sharing their good fortune with others. Traditionally, however, philanthropists use their ideas and systems to make themselves rich. This is why charity alone is not considered to be the same thing as philanthropy.

You need to identify your values and passions about all humankind. Think about things like:

  • What areas do you care about?
  • How can you learn more about these areas to better assist with your giving?
  • How much of yourself do you want to give?
  • What are the desired outcomes from your giving?
  • What needs of the community can you address?
  • What things can be done in a new or better way?
  • How can you get involved with existing organizations that share your values?


There really are countless ways that you can become a philanthropist. Here are a few simple examples:

  • You can get involved with charity by giving your time or small amounts of money.
  • You can spend time working with disabled children or senior citizens.
  • You can knit hats for the homeless.
  • You can volunteer at a soup kitchen to help feed the hungry.
  • You can do anything that will make things better for another person, group of people, or all of humankind.


You don't have to be rich, famous, or retired to make a difference in the world everyday!