Giving Compass' Take:

· Writing for the National Center for Family Philanthropy, Gordon Irlam shares how he transformed from advocate to philanthropist. Irlam now focuses his time on global health and AI risks at his small family foundation. 

· How can advocates and donors work together to make an impact? 

· Check out this article about becoming a high impact philanthropist

Long before I had the means to become a philanthropist, I was a volunteer looking to make a difference in the world. My passion was global health and development, so I got involved with an advocacy group called RESULTS. I met with my members of Congress to push for increased funding, wrote letters to my local paper, and traveled to El Salvador to learn about microcredit.

It’s probably no surprise that my experience as a volunteer advocate influences my work today as a philanthropist. The problems I was working on – global poverty, hunger, disease, and education – were big, and still are. Individuals could only do so much, but governments and institutions could leverage all their resources and do a lot more. I saw that advocacy was a remarkably effective way to influence governments and institutions to tackle important problems. After all, not a lot gets done if no one is pushing for it.

Read the full article about becoming a philanthropist by Gordon Irlam at the National Center for Family Philanthropy.