Giving Compass' Take:

• Dr. Shamsheer Vayalil explains how he navigates the need to respond to disasters with urgent, thoughtful philanthropy. 

• Are you a cautious or impulsive giver? Could a new balance between these tendencies improve your philanthropy? 

• Read about balancing need and impact in your philanthropic decisions

We’ve always been spontaneous givers, so it took but a few moments to see the possibilities of collaborating with All Hands and Hearts to provide medical assistance.

We want to help change the mindset so philanthropy can become more effective. We don’t want people to show compassion only when there is a disaster or when they see calamity in real time. Philanthropy should be part of everyone’s character. Children should see it as a way of life while growing up — the kind of example my parents established when giving to others.

It’s important to stress that the gratitude should be felt by the giver and not the taker. As the writer Maya Angelou once stated, “giving liberates the soul of the giver.”

When my wife Shabeena and I decided to join the Giving Pledge, people asked us why we did it so spontaneously. It’s simple, really. If you lose that immediacy, it might take a long time to reach the same conclusion again.

We have leaped into the waters with All Hands and Hearts. We wanted to show the world how we can build on each other’s strengths to respond to often-ignored communities suffering from natural disasters.

The global philanthropic community remains fragmented while growing rapidly to support much-needed changes for the complex landscape of the 21st century. According to a report from the Hauser Institute for Civil Societyat Harvard University, more collaboration is needed among foundations — and there are many. More than 1.5 million nonprofit organizations are registered just in the U.S.

We have tried to be collaborative from the start and offer only what we know best. We tend to match the need on the ground with the capabilities we have. It’s how we started. We have worked with the Emirates Red Crescent Authority to treat patients in conflict zones such as Yemen. We’ve supported the humanitarian aid efforts and treated in VPS Healthcare facilities before they were relocated to refugee camps.

Read the full article about urgent, thoughtful philanthropy by Dr. Shamsheer Vayalil at Medium.