How not to give


 Giving in California




 Causes worth supporting

Californians are number one in the nation for giving. Every year-end non-profits send out letters, envelopes and pledge requests asking to help them fulfill great missions. The work of solving critical humanitarian problems seems infinite and troubling. The pleads for donations are made to pluck at donors’ consciousness via heart-wrenching stories. Implied in some of these requests is that people are suffering due to environmental, economic or political struggles. In other words, the impact of people’s choices or the planet’s harshness cause sufferings.

Charity or Generosity

Part of the solution to overcoming hardships is charity. Giving time, talent or treasures to alleviate poverty. Charity towards dire and unlivable conditions can produce immediate and life-saving support. Generosity is different. It is a lasting conscious that creates humanitarian collaboratives. A generous society is understanding and caring about its impact and harmonizes living with life. Educators give in generous quantities with their patient lessons. Doctors generously provide care aimed to improve the quality of people’s lives. Charity is great for immediate life saving crises. However, a life with generosity creates sustainability.

Philanthropy or Social Entrepreneurship

In 2008 Californians donated a total of $17.2-billion with the median contribution of $2,396 from income earners with an average salary of $54,030. This equals to 4.4% of their income. There are many stories of people who have the bandwidth to give back. This philanthropic value comes from people of all ages, races and educational levels. Donors are not all affluent professionals. Younger and less educated Californians give more. Many professionals use their corporate leadership to respond to philanthropy. The model of personal or corporate responsibility is terrific yet unsustainable. Responding to an infinite and growing level of poverty cannot be resolved with philanthropy alone. Charitable organizations that rely on limited grants and donations are depending on the profitability and capacity of income earners. True models of scalable income are within the for-profit world. Business models have margins of profit that allows for infinite scalability. Socially conscious leaders are using these business models to solve critical humanitarian problems while making a profit.

Alleviating Poverty or Breaking the Cycle of Poverty.

Poverty can be reduced or temporarily stopped within the current model of charitable giving. To eradicate poverty, we must wisely choose where we give our time, talent and treasures. Giving to those that give back is not enough. We must seek ways to break the cycle of poverty through conscious efforts of empowerment.

Source: The Chronicles of Philanthropy.


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