Forbes: Five Powerful Ways To Give Back As An Entrepreneur
Giving back as an entrepreneur is a rewarding experience both personally and professionally. The very act of philanthropy is actually at the very heart of the free market philosophy that has driven the growth and success of many entrepreneurs. Not long ago, you may have been in need of a little giving yourself. I've found, in my own experience, that there comes a point in time for every successful entrepreneur to begin thinking beyond their business and start considering how they can impact friends, the community or even the local economy.
"I profoundly feel that the art of living is the art of giving,” Laurance Rockefeller, the famous philanthropist, financier and conservationist, said. “You're fulfilled in the moment of giving, of doing something beyond yourself."
People may think that entrepreneurs give back to net tax benefits or to flaunt their monetary wins. Truth be told, many practice true philanthropy, selfless giving without the expectation of future financial gain. Many give back through their time rather than with their checkbooks. In fact, 89% of entrepreneurs practice monetary philanthropy, according to a survey byFidelity Charitable Gift Fund. The same survey found that 70% of entrepreneurs also give time as well as money.
I would not be the person I am today without the experiences and opportunities I’ve had throughout my entrepreneurial journey. I owe much to the moments, good or bad and the people who drove me toward my pursuits of personal and professional growth. I believe the real reason to give back to the people and communities you rely on for guidance and support is quite simple: because we can.
Four Benefits Of Giving
You should be a practicing philanthropic entrepreneur because of:
• Karma: The forces of nature often shine on those who give back. Many entrepreneurs believe that the more you give, the more you get in return.
• Networking: By giving back in the form of time, you will meet new people to forge relationships with.
• Skill-Building: Do you know how to build a house? Probably not. By giving your time to an organization likeHabitat for Humanity, you will build all sorts of new skills.
• How It Makes You Feel: Practicing true selfless philanthropy will make you feel good. Your self-esteem may get a boost and you may just walk away with a different perspective on life.
Five Ways Any Entrepreneur Can Give Back
There are a number of ways you can give back as an entrepreneur. From volunteering your time to making monetary donations to charitable causes, the philanthropy options are endless. Your skills and experience as an entrepreneur can help advance a social cause. For example, you can contribute to sustainable development goals and find innovative social impact solutions.
1. Give Back With Money Or Time
This is one of the easiest and most obvious ways entrepreneurs can give back. However, instead of just searching a charity or foundation that sounds worthy, think locally first.
Where are you from? What community has had the biggest impact on your personal and professional growth and success? These should be your first stops for monetary philanthropy. Make your donation local, like sponsoring a new park project or community youth program. These types of donations make a big difference in any community, and you can often see the value of your philanthropy firsthand.
One of the best ways to give back as an entrepreneur is to teach your craft. Why not spend your time sharing what you’re passionate about with others? You will also feel more comfortable discussing what you are an expert in. Those who you teach will learn a new, valuable skill for free. The skill you teach may even be a source of financial freedom for some or a spark into someone else’s entrepreneurial endeavors.
3. Raise Money For A Foundation Or Charity
Writing a check is great, and no charity or foundation will refuse a monetary gift. However, why not amplify your generosity by raising money instead? Like many entrepreneurs, you may have a strong network or database that can be activated to do more. By making your philanthropy contagious among your contacts, the giving cycle may just repeat itself down the road.
4. Volunteer At A School Or Children’s Hospital
Entrepreneurs are often young enough to connect in fun ways with children in need. You may even have a little sliver of youth that still loves to get out every now and again, and volunteering to help kids is a great way to do just that.
Any philanthropy involving children in need tends to have a long-lasting effect. Volunteer your time at a children’s cancer clinic, a school or any institution where children are in need. The main aim is to give your time because just being there is far more important to kids in need than any amount of money.
5. Give A Local Business A Boost
Entrepreneurs are passionate and extremely crafty when it comes to any business. Many of us know what it takes to land seed money, convince investors, build industry relationships and how to market ourselves to build a business with earning potential.
A great way to give back is to take those useful entrepreneurial nuggets to a local business and do pro-bono work. Maybe you are a social media marketing whiz or have a knack for finding financial means. Any free resource for a small local business is a big deal — and who knows, you may even find your next investment.
We are all blessed in our own ways, but some of us have the means and time to pay those blessings forward. By being an entrepreneur who gives back, you are helping those in need while also helping yourself in ways you may have never thought possible. In what ways have you made philanthropy a priority?