Monday, January 13, 2014

The Philanthropist Diaries // Today's Philanthropist

//In early 2013, I started a blog called The Philanthropist Diaries. In trying to simplify my life, I'm consolidating blogs and will now feature posts of The Philanthropist Diaries on Life Law Luck. It's my life, it's how I'm using my law degree, it makes sense to me. If this topic doesn't interest you, I'll be back with recipes, DIYs and random other things that make me smile. This post was previously published on 2.3.13. //
When I was younger, I dreamed of one day being a philanthropist. I voiced my ambitions to my father who laughed and told me you have to have money to be a philanthropist. Determined not to be discouraged, I set out to not let money dictate my desire to give back.
The word philanthropist calls to mind visions of old white men millionaires divesting their fortunes at the end of their lives.  Well, I'm hear to tell you that today's philanthropist has changed.
By definition, a philanthropist is one who makes an active effort to promote human welfare. I didn't see "wealthy" or "rich" as a requirement to be philanthropic. Today's philanthropists are young and committed to social change. They volunteer in their spare time, if not choosing to make promoting human welfare part of their career. Social entrepreneurship is no longer just a buzzword.
But from one philanthropist to another, I want to let you in on a little secret: It's okay to be selfish when committing your time as a volunteer to a nonprofit. That's the key to becoming one of today's philanthropist.
You need to ask yourself, what's in it for me? Think about how can you utilize this experience to learn a new skill or improve your current ones.  What will be your takeaway from this experience? Take on a leadership role, head a committee, volunteer to be a greeter at the event if you are shy, or brush up on your design skills.  Maximize your time with the organization or cause to make it worthwhile for you.
Don't let money decide whether you will join the ranks of today's philanthropists.  But do let your capacity for leadership shine through in each opportunity.

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