2018 is the year I officially gave up on traditional philanthropy. I have been disillusioned for some time with how intermediating institutions seem to lose sight of their purpose as they grow, becoming obsessed with their own brand image and the profile of their leaders over advancing the narrative or materially improving the lives of their supposed beneficiaries.

However, thanks to Instagram, I am finding new ways to support people who are doing the work, who are held accountable not by their friends in government or on boards but by the communities to which they belong. My gifts are not tax-deductible, but I know that with $5, $10 at a time, I can make a direct impact on the life of a person going through desperate times — and have confidence that those funds will stay in a community that supports them to the extent possible.

I’m not saying traditional philanthropy can’t work. Sometimes it does make a difference. But I am learning to appreciate the power of small, direct giving. The kind you can’t deduct from your taxes or get social kudos for. The kind that says, not only do I choose to see your pain, but I affirm your existence, person-to-person; I want you to survive what you are going through; I trust you to be the best steward of your own resources; and I don’t need you to send me a report proving you did what you say you would.

Read the full article about non-traditional philanthropy by Candace Faber at Medium.