Category Archives: Smart Giving

Smart Giving: Making an Impact

“Dive in but always consider impact, which means different things to different people.” That advice from a philanthropy survey respondent got us thinking about the many ways you can make an impact on a social problem you care about.

I find it useful to think about philanthropy as a series of concentric circles with increasingly expansive efforts to tackle a social problem: tactical activities treat symptoms of problems while strategic activities address root causes and transformative philanthropy impacts the entire system. Read More

The Neuroscience of Giving: A Natural High

A growing body of knowledge in psychology and neuroscience suggests that altruism is good not just for the beneficiaries but also for the benefactors. The argument is that helping others makes us happy, and even leaves us healthier and able to live longer lives. I must admit to a certain amount of skepticism about some (well, most) of what happiness experts – yes, they exist – say. But I was impressed by the authors’ willingness to subject themselves to MRI scans to see what happens in the brain when people help others by donating to a good cause. Read More

Resources: Philanthropy Bookshelf

There are some good (and some not so good!) books out there about philanthropy. This month we’ll feature two that offer practical road maps for new and experienced donors and nonprofit board members: Giving 2.0 and Joining a Nonprofit Board: What You Need to Know. Read More

Smart Giving: Health Sector

You want to get philanthropically involved in a health-related cause. Where to start? Here are some questions to ask yourself. Read More

Smart Giving: Why Give?

Charitable giving may be something that you grew up with, a value passed down by your parents or a practice encouraged by your religion or culture. Philanthropy also may be something that you have come to believe is important over the years, especially if you are fortunate enough to have amassed “enough” for your and your family’s needs and even more so if you had help along the way. Read More

Smart Giving Q&A: As a donor, how do you think about your own philanthropy?

I tend to think about giving rather broadly. It includes gifts to family, friends and … Read More

Smart Giving Q/A: We find ourselves writing a lot of checks at the end of the year but want to be more strategic. Where do we start?!

I applaud your desire to be more strategic, but I hope that you also feel … Read More