Forward-Thinking vs. Backward Philanthropy

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Philanthropy comes from the Greek term meaning “love of humanity,” but when you take a realistic look at the way we view charity today, much of it stems from Puritan ideas about penance and making up for wrongdoing or selfishness in other aspects of one’s life. A more forward-thinking philanthropist, instead would take a practical look at how they can integrate philanthropy into all aspects of their life, and achieve the greatest good overall, not just enough that they break even. Today, I’m going to take some time to explore what forward thinking philanthropists are doing, compared against old-school styles of philanthropy.
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Understanding Nonprofit Data: The Basics

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So, you’ve made sure that the charity you are interested donating to is actually a legitimate charity, but how do you know if they are actually making a positive impact in your community or the world? There’s a lot of talk about nonprofits becoming more “data-driven” or responsive to metrics, but in a world where you are continually bombarded with shiny imagery and smooth-talking infographics, how can you tell which charities are doing good, and which are just doing marketing? This post explores the different types of program impact data you’ll see nonprofits sharing, and how to sort out what it all means. Let’s start with the basics: Continue reading

Be Good at Being Charitable

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If you are looking to make a positive impact in the world, giving to charity is one of the most direct ways that you can contribute. But, with over 1.5 million different nonprofits in the United States alone, figuring out how to give in a meaningful, impactful way can be an incredibly daunting task. Here are some ways for you to narrow down the causes and charities that will be most meaningful for you:

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Launching a Career in Public Service

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This week’s post is for those of you looking to take the concept of helping others and having a positive social impact to the next level by making it the center of your career aspirations. Joining me on this topic is Professor David Campbell, Chair of the Department of Public Administration at Binghamton University. Not only could I not have written today’s blog without his help, but I also wouldn’t have been able to launch a career in public service myself!  Today, we’ve decided to tackle some of the big questions about entering a career in this field. Continue reading

How to find a satisfying and meaningful volunteer opportunity

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As we get ready to ring in 2015, I know there are a lot of people out there looking to lend some of their time as a volunteer – either to build experience for themselves, give back to their community, build their connections, or all of the above. Today I decided I would give some advice for those of us looking to get involved in a cause: Continue reading