No one could have predicted
the impact of the Covid-19 Coronavirus pandemic on our world, with the
staggering number of fatalities, and with schools, businesses, and cities shut.
generous support of individuals, for profit, and not-for-profit organisations
to try to turn the tide against the dreaded virus described as the worst
disaster that has befallen the world since the 2nd World War, is
already evident. Yet many sit on the side-lines and assume that philanthropy or
charitable giving is an activity only for the very rich. This is not so.
You might not be able to
donate 1,000 beds or an entire ICU centre or fund much-needed life insurance
policies for our heroic health care workers the way some of our great organizations
are doing, but each one of us, as individuals, can play our part. We can and
must all be involved in the herculean effort to avert a crisis beyond
philanthropist is “someone who donates his or her time, money, and/or
reputation to charitable causes”. Philanthropy affords one the opportunity and
privilege of making a positive impact in society to shape or even save lives.
By giving to community, the arts, cultural, sports, religious, and civic
organizations, we are in a position to be deliberately involved in causes that
we believe in.
Philanthropy takes on many
forms. It is our individual response to human need; it is about caring and
serving; an opportunity to be involved. It
can be through direct giving, or through impact-investing
which combines the profit motive of traditional investing with the social and
developmental outcomes of philanthropy.
how you can support our government in its efforts to stop the insidious spread
of Covid-19. How can we come together to assist our fellow citizens,
particularly the millions that are the most vulnerable at this time, as their daily
living depends on a daily income; if they stay home, they don't eat. None of us
need look too far to see the desperate need.
As you give, be
of the fact that sadly, even in such extreme and dire situations, there will
always be unscrupulous individuals and groups who will try to take advantage of
your generosity. If you are not in a position to lead an initiative yourself,
focus your giving to credible public and private sector-led organizations or
initiatives that have the ability to oversee the strategic and judicious utilization of the funds
raised and that can ensure that funds are applied for maximum impact.
Giving does not mean that you
must give only financially; there are several other ways to give in a
meaningful way. The possibilities of giving of your time,
experience, talent and intellect are vast and by sharing your knowledge with
others, you can add value to your community in this way.
This time provides a great
opportunity to involve your children in philanthropy from an early age as they
are at home and witnessing the drastic change in all our lives. It is not enough to just tell them to be charitable and kind; our own actions
in supporting others will speak louder than any thing we can ever say. We must
guide them through a program of action so that it becomes ingrained in their
psyche and in their lives. Giving some attention to the present situation will
teach them a powerful and vivid real-life lesson, that their personal money or posessions,
no matter how little, can have a positive effect on the wellbeing of others.
Embed the gift of giving into
your financial plan. Determine what types of initiatives you wish to support
and then review your finances to decide how much you can afford to give. Will
it be a one-off donation or is it something you can continue to commit to even
after this pandemic is behind us. Narrow your choices down to a few charitable
organizations and initiatives that you feel comfortable with; do your due
diligence on their stakeholders, ethos and track record.
It may seem absurd to suggest
that one should give in the midst of such uncertainty, yet it is during trying times when your finances may seem so stretched and unpredictable
that you are forced to look inwards at what security really means and what is
truly important in your life. The focus shouldn’t be only on making and saving
money for oneself. Fortunately, challenging times compel us to recognize
the true value that we hold as human beings and what makes us more successful,
effective, balanced, and fulfilled people.
philanthropy a part of your personal and business financial plan. By deciding
to make a difference in someone else’s life, you can bring so much more
meaning, value, and a lasting form of happiness to your own. It is time to
stop and be still, and to make a difference.