Today’s global challenges—from the humanitarian crisis in Ukraine to Covid-19—are leaving people everywhere with a sense of powerlessness. Among affluent clients, this pervasive frustration is prompting some to search for ways to engage in activities resulting in meaningful, enduring change.

Effecting real change takes more than good intentions. It requires vision and expertise, both of which are common attributes of accomplished business professionals. So if you have entrepreneurial, driven clients who really want to move the needle, encouraging them to do so through philanthropy can help them overcome the feeling of powerlessness many successful people have felt in the last two years.

Often, the same qualities that make many entrepreneurs successful in their professional lives can help them in their charitable endeavors. In fact, their natural resourcefulness might help them put a refreshing new spin on their good deeds and make greater positive impact.

In the professional world, many of the most exciting and profitable enterprises come from innovation. And philanthropy is like many industries—something ripe for disruption.

There’s no shortage of challenges to tackle, and while conventional methods of giving are still effective (for example, soliciting grant applications from nonprofits and awarding funding to whomever writes the best proposal), they can have limitations.

So we suggest that highly successful people think of this new part they can play as “entrepreneurial philanthropy.” It’s an approach to solving social problems that will be especially rewarding for business leaders and change agents wanting to make a lasting impact in the world. If they have an impact, it helps them build a legacy for themselves, their families and their communities. It’s also an excellent means for younger professionals to hone their business and leadership skills.

In its simplest form, entrepreneurial philanthropy involves a leader identifying a problem or need and then using all of his or her skills and resources to fulfill the charitable mission.

6 Tips To Drive Change
Clients inspired by this notion can take six steps to get started. Think of it like a trip:

1. Conduct a pre-trip inspection: Ask your clients this: What advantages and attributes do they have that could make them successful social innovators? How are they uniquely qualified to make a difference, and where can they do it? Many small donors with business know-how and professional connections are often able to accomplish goals that would elude the staff at multi-billion-dollar foundations.

2. Turn on the ignition: What are the issues that build upon your clients’ passions and strengths? How they spend money is ultimately more important than how much they spend. They should also be able to champion causes they have direct experience with. That could help them bring attention to “orphaned” causes that have been overlooked by other philanthropists (or that are too controversial for governments to tackle).

3. Find GPS coordinates: Encourage your clients to conduct research to understand the complexities of their chosen issues. They should get input from people affected by the problem, nonprofits dedicated to a related mission, consultants and other philanthropists. They should also know who else is working on the problem, what’s already been done and what impact that work has had. When they do these things, they will avoid wasting money and might yield some important allies.

First « 1 2 » Next