Giving Compass’ Take:
• Norman Chella unpacks the different motivations that drive philanthropic giving.
• Why is it important to know the motivations involved in your philanthropy? How does that help guide your giving better?
• Check out the list of seven different types of successful philanthropists and see if you can match motivations to the types of givers.
Why do humans have selfless tendencies? In the world of charities, social enterprises and philanthropy, this is one element of human character that must not be disregarded when helping out others. Born out of empathy, selflessness allows us to justify helping others over ourselves, however natural our instinct to survive is. But, beyond selflessness, what is it that motivates people to do such things? Benefitting humanity, doing acts for others? Here are some of my observations:
- Selfless Acts for Selfish Wants
- When we have a certain, or twisted sometimes, definition of value, we tend to believe that whatever we’re throwing money at we’re doing it for the right thing. But this practice can be misleading. Because just like finances, throwing your money at something, hoping you get the value you seek, does not mean you will get the result you seek.
- This is for those who have done bad deeds in the past. They may have done some sort of atrocity, and are redeeming themselves through selfless acts.
- Philanthropic Duty and the ‘declining’ value of one’s life
- There is a realization, mostly near the end of one’s life, when one realizes they can bring nothing with them to the afterlife. We don’t want to be forgotten, we want a legacy.
- A Higher Calling
- This higher calling became of greater value in her life: her definition of impact and satisfaction turned into helping troubled youth get back up on their feet. It’s not even because she wants to, it’s more than that — she believed in it. It completes her to be selfless.
- Getting Rid of the Excess
- We have gained more than we have ever needed for our own lives. We all have this, we really do have more than we need.
Read the full article about understanding philanthropy by Norman Chella at Medium.
Philanthropy is a complex topic, and others found these selections from the Impact Giving archive from Giving Compass to be good resources.
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