What Philanthropy Really Is
By Alan Olsen
What comes to your mind when you hear the word philanthropy? Perhaps you think of giving away money to a great cause in order to help further its purpose. Maybe it’s a large donation to a school, a community service or a new building designed to help many. Of course, philanthropy is about money, and without it, philanthropic causes couldn’t move forward, but is money really at its core? Is there something that carries even greater importance to philanthropy?
I learned more about the true meaning of philanthropy when I spoke with Pamela Hawley, the founder and CEO of UniversalGiving, an award-winning nonprofit that helps people give and volunteer with vetted, quality opportunities all over the world. In fact, UniversalGiving offers many different ways to get involved through Projects, Gift Packages, and Volunteer Opportunities. Visitors choose a region in the world and issues they care about, and then receive a list of quality ways to give and volunteer. Plus, 100% of each donation goes directly to the cause.
Additionally, you can feel safe when you support UniversalGiving because the organization performs due diligence on all its projects through its unique, trademarked Quality Model(TM). Furthermore, UniversalGiving Corporate is a customized version for corporations, which helps launch corporate global philanthropy and volunteer programs across the world for companies such as Cisco and BEA.
It’s All About the People
When we spoke, Pamela shared with me what’s truly at the heart of real philanthropy. She said that people don’t really look at philanthropy correctly. “They look at it as the giving of money, but really what it is, is people, the love of people, it’sall about people.”Pamela said philanthropy is really about the love of humanity. “So what I love about this real definition of philanthropy is that at every moment we can be philanthropists. So I think that's super powerful. Anyone that's wishing for a mission in life, youcould be a philanthropist right now.”
Philanthropy Can Happen Anywhere
Pamela said that philanthropy could take place anywhere, including with the checker at the grocery store, your dry cleaner or the person waiting next to you at the bus stop. Just asking someone how he or she is doing and connecting with him or her is a form of philanthropy. It's about the love of people. Pamela did concede that money is important, as well. “Now it does go into money too, but the moneyis just a vehicle to change hearts. When you give, your mind is changed, your heart is changed, the type of voting you might do is changed, your compassion is changed. That's what we want to see long term with Universal Giving.”
Pamela also pointed out that UniversalGiving isnot just about the giving and volunteering, but they are also about creating agreat sense of connection, peace and community. They want to facilitate anunderstanding between people of very different backgrounds, which can enablepeople to cherish the differentbackgrounds each person comes from.