Americans, over the past several years, have seen the wealthiest of individuals contribute significant amounts of money towards charitable giving. Philanthropy has been the vehicle used to drive a range of topics such as economics, ecology, and social issues.
Alyssa Wright raises the question that if substantial contributions are initiating a conversation about social issues, how can other voices be heard in “Move Over Bill Gates, Everyday People Are Becoming Philanthropists Too.” How do we to bring equality to philanthropic giving? This level of engagement is especially vital to millennials and to all individuals who endeavor to infuse their social values into their lifestyle choices.
There is a new way of looking at charitable contributions that will allow all donors a voice. This viewpoint includes everything from creating new leadership styles in corporate and philanthropic giving to innovative ways of choosing the beneficiaries. These approaches take the conversation concerning philanthropy to a new level beyond crowd-sourcing platforms.
One example of a creative take on giving that Wright focuses on in her piece is the “Philanthro-raffle” established by the Triskeles Foundation. The Pennsylvania-based philanthropy created a raffle where the winner gets to be the recipient of a donor-advised fund. What does a donor-advised fund accomplish? It is used “to manage large donations on behalf of families or individuals.” A Raffle that encourages social engagement for a worthy cause and fosters empowerment for smaller donors equals a winning proposition and establishes a new and exciting philanthropic venture. The idea is to view philanthropy as social responsibility and a tool for change; like voting, it is a responsibility and an honor that everyone should be encouraged to use to effect a positive difference in society.
Other suggestions for getting involved in social change through charitable giving is to keep up with trends and ideas by reading and supporting blogs sites like Idealist.org or Inside Philanthropy for information and inspiration. To use the power of many, consider joining with other philanthropists via donor communities and giving circles. Finally, if you live your philanthropic vision, by consistently supporting a favorite charity or donating skills pro bono, talk about what you do. Venues can include your community library or local TEDx talks. Everyone has something to say with the new style of philanthropy as a means of civic engagement.