Just taking a look around in 2020 will give you plenty of cause to become a philanthropist. For centuries, philanthropy has been part of the fabric of Western civilization. In the United States alone, thousands of nonprofit organizations provide a wide variety of charitable services such as providing free legal services, education, and health care for those in need, environmental protection, and assistance to the arts and minorities. In the past few decades, several philanthropic ventures have given their time, money, effort, and resources to help people in need.

A common misconception when it comes to philanthropy is most assume a certain level of wealth is required to get started. This could not be further from the truth. You do not need to have millions of dollars to support a good cause or begin your own philanthropic venture. Philanthropy has been a hallmark of Western civilization since its inception. During the past few centuries, philanthropy has provided all the basic necessities of life, such as food, shelter, clothing and medical care, for people in need. 

If you’re looking for a way to become a philanthropist, you first must understand what a philanthropist is and the primary goals of philanthropy. A philanthropist is a person who actively makes efforts to promote and change human welfare. The goals of philanthropy are greater than those of being a charitable individual. Someone who donates money, clothing, furniture, etc., are considered to be charitable. A philanthropist tackles the social causes of those in need in an effort to have a longer lasting impact. 

Being a charitable individual is an excellent introduction to the field of philanthropy. Not only will the experiences provide you with a view into the philanthropic movement, it will also show you the different types of charitable groups that you can support. After having spent some time learning about the variety of charitable organizations that interest you, you will have a better idea of what types of social problems you want to address as a philanthropist yourself. These issues can range from homelessness, child hunger, lack of education, lack of proper health care, etc. 

When you begin to put yourself in a philanthropist’s mindset, you will discover that philanthropy is the discovery of social problems that affect the most vulnerable among us. Spend some time researching the issues that are closest to you or mean the most to you. Surround yourself with people that are affected by this issue. Discuss with them and brainstorm what solutions would be best for a temporary fix and a long-term solution. Reach out and connect with other like-minded individuals that share your passion for your philanthropic venture. 

If you feel as though you are not ready to begin your own philanthropic cause, you can still be a philanthropist by volunteering your time. Choose an organization that falls in line with your passions. If homelessness is close to your heart, find an organization that assists the homeless with finding jobs, getting permanent housing, and health care. If this seems like too much time, you can always volunteer to clean parks or waterways or donate your belongings and your time to a charity. 

Once you have decided on the social issue you’d like to assist in tackling, you may be wondering what type of foundation will help you with your new career of philanthropy. One foundation that is very popular with philanthropists is the Henry Luce Foundation. The foundation supports many different projects that focus on education and social service. Other philanthropy foundations include the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Ford Foundation, The Gates Foundation, and the Carnegie Corporation.

The important thing to remember is when becoming a philanthropist, you are not giving your money. You are creating a group of like-minded individuals that are going to support you in your cause to tackle the social and societal issue that you value most. It’s natural to want to help others, but through philanthropy, more long-term solutions can be created. Rather than tackling an issue with money, philanthropy requires legitimate solutions that will have long lasting effects.

Kuran Malhotra recommends following these tips on how to become a philanthropist. When you do you will not only be on your way to a fulfilling new career, but also one that will allow you to give back to the community and those most in need. With this information, you will find the right place to begin your path to becoming a philanthropist.