In my previous blog, I shared my thoughts about seven key beliefs of donor philanthropy. In formulating the seven beliefs, it occurred to me that people may want to know why donor philanthropy and the seven core beliefs are so important to each of us — to our families, our communities, and our nation.
Similar to Parenting
It occurred to me that the best way to emphasize the importance of being the best we can be as individual philanthropists, or the giving of oneself to great causes, is to compare being a philanthropist to our role as parents and grandparents.
Think about it. Of all the skills and education and roles that we accumulate over a lifetime, being a philanthropist is very similar to the role of parenting.
If you reflect on your own life’s journey, you can see how important the role of parenting is in the development of the individual. Parents serve — rightly or wrongly, justly or unjustly — as your child’s first teachers, guides, sources of wisdom, models, and mentors. Parents provide the moral compass for the child, especially during the formative years.
But for the most part, there are no all-encompassing courses for parenting. As a parent, the parenting you display is quite often a result of the parenting you received and the mentorship and life lessons you learned.
There is no college-level Parenting 101 that you take in school or college. If you were blessed to have been born of parents who acquired the skills of parenting, then you are truly blessed indeed!
We are all philanthropists, whether we realize it or not. Like parenting, there is no real course that teaches us how to use our inherent accumulated gifts for giving our talent, time, treasure, and trust for good and for those causes and passions that bring purpose and meaning to our lives.
Building Ourselves to Be Guides and Teachers
So becoming a philanthropist is like becoming a parent. We need to be the best guide and leader for others that we can be.
Let’s go back to the seven core beliefs of donor philanthropy. Donor philanthropy provides the core foundation, and the seven beliefs serve as a foundation from which we can build ourselves into becoming better — both as leaders of self and others — through selfless leadership that awakens and unleashes the giving potential of each individual.
Being a good parent is like being a good philanthropist. Both require that we take the time to learn from our life experiences, gain education when we can, and find mentors and guides that can show us the way.
Recognize Your Influence
In summary, parenting and being a philanthropist are analogous. They are both core life skills for which we receive no formal education. Many times we lack these skills in our current society.
To reach our full potential - as parents, grandparents, and philanthropists - we need to recognize the influence we have with others, note our lack of training and formal education, and take the steps necessary to find the education, guides, and role models who can help us become better as parents and philanthropists. This understanding is why the seven core beliefs of donor philanthropy are so important.
So, stay tuned to future blogs that will help you become a better philanthropist and a better version of yourself. Meanwhile …
Let’s Do Some Good!
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