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What is a Strategic Philanthropist?

Strategic Philanthropist

What is a Strategic Philanthropis?

Being a strategic philanthropist is an ongoing process that involves consistent monitoring, evaluation,

and, if necessary, adjustment...

Planning for philanthropy – developing goals, budgets, and CoVestment strategies – allows CoVestors to more effectively reach their charitable goals.

Philanthropy is a big word that describes that inherent desire in each of us to help one another, to give back and do something for someone else. It comes from the Greek philanthrOpos, “phil” meaning loving and anthrOpos referring to human beings.

Congratulations:  You are a philanthropist because you are loving human beings through giving. Giving time, skills, talents, ideas and treasure makes life worth living. Doing something for others, research shows, brings greater happiness and joy and extends life expectancy. Celebrate and honor your philanthropy.

The following steps help you become more strategic and focused. It will enhance one of the most rewarding aspects of your life:

  • Connect to your passion.

  • Identify, prioritize, and write down three issues that you really care about and speak to your heart.

  • What problem would you like to help solve?

  • Determine if you want to get involved on a local, national, or international level.

  • Identify your gifts, skills and talents.

  • Write down and prioritize a list of the gifts you have to share.

Next, here is a list to help you determine what type of Strategic Philanthropist you are (it may be a combination of types)...

Philanthropic Types:

1. Collaborative Philanthropy

Is the process of sharing solutions, reducing redundancy, and building knowledge. This is an excellent model for givers who:

  • have a “big picture” approach in solving community needs;

  • are willing to give up some control over specifics (personal interest) in exchange for greater influence for the group as a whole;

  • want to be part of a network of like-minded individuals with hands-on givers who feel similarly committed and are passionate about the same issue(s).


2. Responsive Philanthropy

Is the process of supporting needs and priorities that actively solicit proposals in areas of interest.  This type of philanthropy appeals to givers who want to:

  • develop a deep philanthropic expertise in a few focused targeted areas;

  • resource specific programs, as opposed to supporting organizational overhead;

  • place some conditions on the acceptance of grants, such as requirements for matching funds or reporting back results;

  • maintain arms-length relationships with grantees rather than engage in active management or hands-on assistance.


3. Venture Philanthropy

Is the process of building capacity for growth, business scale, and sustainability of projects or the business venture.  This mode of philanthropy appeals to givers who:

  • prefer long-term partnerships with a handful of organizations doing good works to help mitigate risk;

  • desire heavy involvement in the day-to-day affairs of the organizations they join or enjoin the entity by requiring a Board of Director’s seat.

  • want to apply their business/management practices to their philanthropy enterprise;

  • want to provide resources to small scale projects that can grow into larger initiatives;

  • seek to get a return on their investment (ROI).


4. Results-Based Philanthropy

Is the process of solving social problems by addressing root causes and systemic community blight. This type of philanthropy appeals to givers who:

  • have a particular social problem in mind that they have a passion to address and help solve unresolved issues;

  • want to have a significant role in “setting the agenda” for change;

  • are willing and able to devote significant resources, time and treasure to a philanthropic cause;

  • are not afraid of controversy and have no fear of failure.

5. Checkbook Philanthropy

Is the process of providing immediate and crucial support to the social enterprise sector. This type of philanthropy appeals to givers who:

  • want to donate to organizations or causes that have been important or influential in their lives;

  • fund causes and participate in events as part of a social network of contributors;

  • seek to spread their money around to many organizations;

  • want to provide general financial support to organizations rather than targeting their funds to specific programs.


THEN...CoVest your time, talent, and/or treasure accordingly. It's important for all of us to do something, and do it strategically!

Be thankful for the gifts you have been given and share them with an open heart. The best part about giving is the return on investment because whatever you give comes back tenfold. Have fun and really enjoy your power as a philanthropist.

How Can We Help in Your Philanthropic Journey?
Find Out More About Our Family Office Support:

“We make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give.”

-- Winston Churchill

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