Entrepreneurs can bring their brilliant ideas to the world and affect change through the business community, but they can also demonstrate a lasting commitment to actually improving the world through their philanthropic activities.
Young entrepreneurs, like me, are discovering the advantages of giving their money away even as they earn it.
Benefits to you and your company
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The satisfaction of knowing that you are helping others in need is only one of the enormous benefits of philanthropy.
Your employees can feel good about the company that they work for, knowing that it has an altruistic purpose as well as a profit motive. Your staff can also be encouraged to give, and be inspired to make gifting a part of their lives from their younger years.
Many clients will also respect and admire your philanthropic activities, marking you as “one of the good guys”. They may be more likely to do business with a company that has a demonstrated commitment to helping others.
At Wealth Enhancers we have officially started supporting Project Futures, which is a great organisation headed up by Steph Lorenzo with the goal of ending human trafficking. We have come up with a number of initiatives in order to provide support such as donating money every time a member refers to us. Our team have bonded more and are all excited to be part of a company which believes in doing more.
Personally, too, a sustained effort of giving brings a new awareness to the concept of money and what it can buy. When you know that you could buy meals for a week for 100 needy people instead, you may reconsider your expensive and unnecessary purchase. You do not have to give up every luxury and frivolity, of course, but philanthropic efforts tend to make you think harder about your spending.
Caroline Vu, from Philanthropy Australia, is heading up an effort called the New Generation in Giving, or New Gen for short. It’s the only program in Australia that is designed for high-potential donors in their 20s and 30s, and is designed for those leaders who want to experience the effects of their giving now, rather than waiting until they are retired to get involved in philanthropic activities.
New Gen offers its members a new way to maximise the impact of their gifts by leveraging their skills and networks.
When young leaders are brought together and given such a noble purpose, amazing things will happen. As Vu says, she is hoping to influence the development of “a specific cohort of influential young people to take over leadership of the philanthropic sector now and over next 30 to 40 years.”
A brand-new website has burst onto the scene and is making news all over the country. Givematcher, founded by Franck Demoiseau, is a way for individual donors to get more bang for their buck by matching up donations with altruistic companies.
When an individual chooses to make a donation through Givematcher, they start by choosing a charity or a campaign that they wish to fund. They are then presented with a list of participating socially-minded companies that will match their donations, in a process that Demoiseau calls “open-match giving”. He calls it a “win:win” for everyone: donors have their gift amplified, companies are able to benefit from both the gift and the recognition, and the charities receive more funding than they ordinarily might.
Through Givematcher, everything can be done online and can be automated, which makes the entire process simpler and cheaper for the charities and the donors. More of the gifted money goes directly to the charity and less is spent on the administrative work, which previously could have consumed as much as 30 to 50% of the donation.
Demoiseau said, ”Companies have relationships with many more people than just their staff, and it is these other essential relationships that … companies had largely ignored. Givematcher changes this by allowing companies to match the donations of their customers, their potential customers as well as their staff. Most donors in Australia have never had the opportunity to have their donation matched.”
What you can do
Although the country is slowly recovering after the worldwide recession of 2008-09, there are still millions of our countrymen in need. As young leaders, we have a responsibility to help wherever we can. You can get involved in the Australian philanthropic scene, whether your company is large or small. You can join Givematcher, and you can join Philanthropy Australia.
We can begin making a difference now.
Finn Kelly is the CEO and co-founder of award-winning Gen Y financial advisory firm, Wealth Enhancers, along with the parent company, premier private wealth management firm WE Private.