Philanthropy is a great initiative that gets people and corporations involved in helping others and making a change, but all too often it has the connotation of a stand-alone event, a long-standing pledge to donate money, or a means of forced involvement. We need to start viewing philanthropy as a mindset and not just something that higher-ups force upon you. One great way to open the conversation of giving and really engage people on a personal level is to cultivate a “Culture of Philanthropy.”
What is Philanthropy Culture?
Any organization, whether it’s a workplace, nonprofit, or team, has a certain ‘culture’ that defines it to outsiders and helps it operate smoothly — implementing philanthropy culture is injecting the corresponding beliefs and ideals into the organization at its core and letting them bloom and grow from there. Your team needs to see these initiatives not as mandates or policies but rather as ideas worth embracing that will help give more meaning to the work they do on a daily basis.
Focus on the change.
If you deliver a philanthropic initiative to your team as extra work or responsibilities, they’re likely to balk at the task. However, if you present the end results and achievements and show them the difference that the little bit of work on their end can make, you’re going to engage them in a more meaningful way that will help them to internalize the change they’re helping to make.
Engage with your fundraising.
If your team’s philanthropic endeavors require outside donors, it’s a good idea to have everyone do away with any old notions of fundraising and look at it as a wholly engaging experience. If you view potential donors as nothing more than cash cows to get money from, you’re likely going to turn people away before you even get started. Donors are individuals, and if you want their financial assistance you’re going to need to engage them with what they’re funding and where their money is going. Learn who they are as people and how they like to interact and get them involved with your efforts.
Be thankful and practice gratitude.
When working to instate the ideals of helping others and being involved, don’t forget to include thankfulness, too. Through working to promote philanthropy, you’ve undoubtedly received help from other people along the way, and while you’re primarily working on giving help rather than receiving it, you don’t want to ignore the goodwill of others. Implementing gratitude can go a long way in changing your culture from selfish to selfless.