Philanthropy is an age-old concept that has benefitted millions of people across the world. Spanning a range of crucial social issues, philanthropic causes have long since brought notice to and increased participation for the same. Earlier philanthropic activities were carried out solely by the wealthy, in the form of monetary donations. While well-meaning, this approach is highly short-sighted and needs a change.
Today, one doesn’t need money to begin a philanthropic venture, just a sustainable idea and the drive to do good for the selected cause. In fact, with crowdfunding becoming a popular practice, many people are able to direct funds and more importantly, volunteers towards the intended philanthropic campaign.
In order to begin any organisation – whether it is philanthropic or profit-seeking enterprise, an entrepreneurial approach works best. Starting a charitable foundation is completely different from doing charity. Thus for a business entrepreneur looking to begin their journey into philanthropy, the practices they employ for running their enterprise will help them greatly in their efforts. This means employing a disruptive mindset, drive innovation and seek creative opportunities. Some of the factors that entrepreneurial philanthropists must keep in mind while deciding their next venture includes:
Making a viable plan with thorough research
Like any business venture, even philanthropic activities need to be planned carefully. It is important to carefully evaluate a variety of factors involved in the commencement of the activity. This includes attentively studying all the social issues at hand. It is both easy and tempting to pick the issue that is most well-known or one that has been recommended by family and friends. But the philanthropist needs to understand the reasons why the issue exists, what its far-reaching effects are, and based on this information, assess whether it is an issue they wish to pursue.
Rising above infrastructure issues
One of the biggest problems philanthropists find, especially in low-income countries, is the lack of infrastructure. This makes it difficult for them to reach their intended audience and provide them with the resources they seek. As innovation is one of the basic requirements of an ideal philanthropist, they need to navigate their way around this problem and bring solutions with the aid of technological advancements.
Making strides towards sustainability
No organisation can last without it being sustainable. Philanthropic organisations are traditionally run on donations received from the public, but this model is not viable. These organisations need to find a way to become sustainable, thereby reducing the dependence on donations for their operations. This will help keep the wheel of progress running smoothly, unhampered by lack of funds.
Making scalable plans for global markets
While a lot of philanthropic organisations are created based on the needs of a particular region, it is always a good idea to think bigger. A lot of social issues are prevalent across a multitude of areas, so a successful working model that shows good results could benefit the other regions as well with the appropriate amount of tweaking.
Curating the right teams
Many philanthropists either band together or take the help of friends and family to run their operations. But in order to create and run a successful philanthropic organisation, with long-term results, it is crucial to put the responsibilities of day-to-day operations in the hands of those who are trained and qualified to run the organisation. This guarantees better, streamlined processes and results in the long-run.
Routinely tracking progress
Like any venture, it is important to track and measure the progress made in any philanthropic endeavour. This helps in understanding which method works best and which causes more harm. This process also helps in mapping out future operations with respect to picking new opportunities and plans for expansions.
Views of the author are personal and do not necessarily represent the website’s views.
Rohit Shelatkar is the Vice President at Vitabiotics Ltd., one of UK’s fastest-growing vitamin company that has manufactured innovative healthcare supplements for over 48 years creating a unique portfolio of products. He is a health and fitness enthusiast. Along with healthcare, he is highly invested in philanthropy and runs the Grand Maratha Foundation.
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The CSR Journal Team