As we move into the winter season and into a new year, getting deeper into the global pandemic, I’ve had some time to reflect on the future of You Are A Philanthropist.
I started writing about my passion for the nonprofit industry and fundraising in 2015. My first post was originally published on LinkedIn. I asked the world to re-define the definition of philanthropy, and so began my journey to challenge society’s definition. Initially, I declared that I had decided I could call myself a philanthropist.
Over the five years since this “ah-ha” moment, I have grown even further in my understanding of philanthropy. Each article reflects what I continue to learn about the nonprofit industry. Not only am I am experienced professional, but I am also a student.
Through my volunteer work creating a nonprofit from scratch, I learned most people do not like fundraising. At my former employer, I learned people hadn’t even heard of the word philanthropy–nor knew what it meant. I have even been honest about what isn’t working in the nonprofit industry–discrimination against women and limited thinking.
In my private life, I am an advocate for equality of individuals living with mental illness. As a woman, I seek to shatter the glass ceiling by becoming a Certified Fund Raising Executive (CFRE) and going back to get my masters degree in nonprofit management with a concentration in social innovation.
As someone who writes about love–particularly brotherly love–I have given myself high standards. Thus, I have decided to work toward You Are A Philanthropist continuing to expand into a more inclusive company.
As it is with brotherly love, we must love people of all races and include them in communities. The changing landscape of this year inspired me to continue to push the understanding of philanthropy and decide that, “Equality is a Prerequisite for Philanthropy“.
I wrote, “We come in all different body shapes, genders, sexualities, physical and mental abilities, and skin colors. In order to be a philanthropist, we need to elevate our actions to give unconditional love. We must reinforce in our values and actions that there are no conditions to give love.”
This year, with people being unable to get out to their nonprofits in order to serve their communities, I continued to expand the definition to include simple acts of kindness that are unrelated to an institution.
One of my most prophetic posts I have written this year is, “Grassroots Volunteerism is Future.” I outlined how society is going to grow into a more peaceful world. Here is an excerpt:
“There are three key ways to transform the sector. First, dilute the term philanthropy to enable more people to join the table.It’s not just reserved for the wealthiest—even Bill and Melinda Gates and Warren Buffet said this.
Second, include everyday actions to strangers as an aspect of giving to be recognized. Any good put in the world succeeds at meeting the mission of our organizations. Giving a homeless person a lunch means that a nonprofit doesn’t need to. Empowering people to do whatever good they want to do will cause a ripple effect.
Third, support businesses with double and triple bottom-line budgets to increase collaborations with the business world. The effects of revolutionizing the nonprofit sector affects the business world, too. Harnessing the truth that personally enjoying giving transfers over into consumer behavior.”
This is what I have come to understand over the last five years of reflecting on my experiences. The products I offer are a way for me to incorporate all those aspects into my business.
I have also decided to begin support other socially and environmentally-conscious companies. I recently stumbled upon a company that inspired me to get involved. As I became more aware of this company, I found that they were a Certified B Corp. I learned that a Certified B Corp is a business that puts “people, planet, and purpose over profit.”
Unexpectedly, I felt compelled to expand my work to support companies that are either Certified B Corp’s or are socially innovative. Therefore, I created a separate website to highlight sustainable and ethical businesses. Currently, I sharing about Arbonne International.
My focus will be to reflect on my personal life and my evolution into understanding how the decisions I make affect others and how the companies I support reflect my personal values and life goals.
For example, your personal purchasing power has an impact on what is bought, sold, and marketed. When you purchase your values, its an opportunity to bring more meaning and human connection into your life. Focus on your values and let them guide your decisions.
Join me, as I continue this journey to give and help others in both my personal and my professional life. Reach out to me and I’ll be glad to help!
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I look forward to continuing to share my philanthropy journey with you!