Have you heard the term megaphilanthropist? I hadn’t either until I read a Chronicle of Philanthropy article about what billionaire philanthropists are focusing their charitable efforts on, titled “Betting on Tomorrow.” These men and women have the vision to use their resources to tackle big problems, and to measure the effects of generosity.
Ben Gose and Maria Di Mento, authors of the article, point out how these megaphilanthropists are looking to the future in their philanthropy. They seek to address some of the ills in the world. This includes things like artificial intelligence, technology privacy concerns, poverty, education, etc.
And so it should be.
Generosity for Impact
Generosity was never meant to be the idea that we land our name on a list because we made a big gift. It was never meant to be the idea of getting our name on a building. Nor should it be a mechanical act—calculating a percentage of income.
Generosity in its highest and best form is always about meeting needs and solving problems in the world—generosity for impact. In the Christian gospel, Jesus gave his life so that he could save others. The so that is critical to generosity.
We need to ask what problems we are solving with our generosity. It may mean funding not just an organization but an idea for solving a problem. Maybe it will mean bringing multiple organizations together to solve a problem.
I know someone who is actively bringing organizations together to solve the larger human trafficking problem.
The beauty of generosity will always be best measured by the impact it’s having in the world. It will take grit, persistence and patience—staying with it for the long haul—to solve those problems.
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Published July 5, 2019