Muhammad Babangida is a committed philanthropist from Nigeria

Category: Youth Philanthropy Page 1 of 2

Investing With Your Children in Mind

It’s instinctive: parents always want the best for their children. And whether it’s the top-of-the-line baby food or a four-year degree in the United States, children are certainly expensive. Don’t be discouraged. There are ways to invest in your child’s future while planning for retirement or paying off the mortgage.

Start Planning Early

When you’ve just returned home from the maternity ward and holding your newborn, planning for an expensive college is probably not the first thing you have in mind. But it helps a lot to start early. This is because of the effect known in the investing world as compounding. Think of it like pushing a snowball up a hill. Every year, not only do you get paid interest on your principal but also any previously accumulated interest. It’s minuscule over a short period but can add to massive amounts of capital over two decades.

Try to set aside a fixed amount every month to dedicate to savings towards your child. This takes the guesswork and stress out of it. By investing every month, you’ll benefit from what is known as dollar-cost averaging. You’ll benefit from market fluctuations because you’ll be purchasing at periods when the stock market is low.

Additionally, many countries have tax-advantaged savings accounts for education. For example, in the United States, this is known as the 529 Plan. This will add a big boost to your savings.

Invest Your Savings

Inflation will eat at your savings. So although a savings account might seem to pay a high rate, in reality, the rate is much lower. You’ll want to invest in the stock market. Find a financial product that suits your risk appetite and time horizon. Alternatively, you could talk to a financial advisor. If so, you might want to go for a fixed fee consultation rather than paying a percentage. You’ll pay less in service fees in the long run.

Save Money

Being thrifty has a bad reputation but it pays off in the end.

Some people like to focus on the big things. For example, a smaller apartment in a less swanky part of town could save you big. A used car is a fraction of the price of the new one.

Others like to focus on expensive daily habits. That daily latte is hurting your wallet (not to mention ballooning your waistline.)

Saving for your child’s future is an intimidating task. It doesn’t have to be if you plan, invest, and be thrifty.

Why Risk is Necessary in Philanthropy

It is sad to note that philanthropy is not as impactful as it should be. This is due to many philanthropists being afraid to be bold and take risks. Many want to stick to the traditional form of philanthropy of giving out funds without creating meaningful impact.

Also, there is no open discussion about risk in philanthropy. In the world of philanthropy, calculated risk is essential. Philanthropists invest money to achieve specific results. And just like any other investment, there is an interplay between risk and return in philanthropy.

There is a system failure in the world today in that philanthropists do not get the impact they intend. For instance, MacKenzie Scott, the ex-wife of Jeff Bezos, may not achieve philanthropy’s societal impact even though she makes considerable donations to organizations.

Why? Even with her good intentions, MacKenzie Scott is conservative with her approach. She falls into the regular donations rather than fund an unconventional idea that she has passion. Her donations cut across organizations fighting racism, climate-sensitive organizations, and pro-democracy groups. She may be creating an impact but not to the extent the colossal donations should. She can do much more.

Scott is not the only one taking this traditional philanthropy approach. Others, like Jack Ma and Larry Ellison, have followed suit. Don’t get me wrong, there’s nothing wrong with their intentions. However, they can achieve much more impact.

You might be wondering how they can do this. Donors can disrupt the philanthropy world through catalytic philanthropy. This approach is different from charitable donations. It goes beyond writing a cheque. The philanthropist goes a mile further to research the source of the problem facing society. Instead of pouring money into the problem, the philanthropist establishes the root cause first. That’s results in using the power of money responsibly.

Catalytic philanthropists do not ignore the aspect of risk. Otherwise, this would jeopardize the impact of their funding. They, however, assess and measure risk vis a vis the return of their donations. This strategic philanthropy embraces risk through progressive risk management systems. With this approach, they develop disruptive solutions to the world’s challenges.

To wrap things up, philanthropy is not as simple as just giving donations. Until risk-taking becomes the norm, philanthropists will miss the chance of maximizing impact. Risk is about being quick and reacting to the environment to provide customized solutions.

Check Out These Great Podcasts If You Love Philanthropy

Podcasts have become immensely popular in recent memory and they can be great sources of entertainment, knowledge, and news amongst other things. If you’re interested in philanthropy, charity, or nonprofits, podcasts can be an invaluable resource. You can hear so many perspectives on various social issues as well as how you can help and there are so many different podcasts out there. Here are a few great podcasts about philanthropy.

The Business of Giving

If you’re looking to hear possible solutions to social problems throughout the world, check out The Business of Giving. This show is hosted by expert philanthropist Denver Frederick, and every week he invites various philanthropists, social entrepreneurs, and nonprofit experts onto the show to discuss these social problems. With Frederick’s 40+ years of experience and the knowledge of these various experts, they dissect these social problems and try to come up with possible things we can do to solve them.

Futures in Fundraising

If you’re passionate about fundraising and want to know more, check out Futures in Fundraising. Every episode you’ll learn something new on topics such as using your organization’s data for good, advancing careers in development, or just new ways for you to give. They often provide great tips as well, just in case you decide to become a professional in the fundraising world. Every episode features an interview with someone who went on their own fundraising experience where they experienced both highs and lows.

Nonprofits Are Messy

Running a nonprofit organization isn’t easy. There are so many different aspects to think about and as host Joan Garry would put it, they’re messy. In her show, Joan discusses topics such as marketing, leadership, fundraising mistakes and so much more. Practically everything you can learn about nonprofits is discussed in this show, making it the ultimate resource for anyone wanting to improve their own organization.

The Important Podcast

The reason people become philanthropists or decide to work with nonprofits often comes down to one thing: they want to help people. The work they do is ultimately meant to serve those who are in need, and that’s exactly what The Important Podcast is all about. Each episode features inspirational stories of people helping others with an important mission to share these stories to as many people as they can.

Is Your Board Ready to Get Hands-On?

A problem with boards across the United States is that they lack diversity. The reason is likely that boards recruit members that have similar thought processes as the existing members. However, it is important to note that a diverse board can lead to many successes

 

To get the board ready to be hands-on, a few things will have to occur. 

 

  1. An open mindset.

To get hands-on, the board has to open their minds to new thought processes. Things will be uncomfortable at first because change is not comfortable. However, once this period of discomfort passes, the board will reap the successes of multiple viewpoints. 

 

  1. Organizational Goals

Once a more diverse team is established, it will likely be necessary to reflect on the organizational goals and possibly expand them. This will allow room for growth within the organization and allow all members to feel a sense of belonging and inclusion. 

 

  1. Time Commitment

Establishing a diverse team and equity is no easy task. The board members have to be ready to put the time in to achieve this huge goal. This will likely need to be a discussion in which all board members are present, and the expectations are clearly outlined. 

 

  1. Multiple Leaders

The board cannot set out on this journey with a sole leader. To be effective, multiple people on the team will need to be passionate about this change and dedicate themselves to the project. This will put the board on the right track for success.

 

How to Get Loved Ones to Start Giving

When a person is passionate about a cause, it is natural for them to want family members to join and support. Most nonprofit contributors are individuals who want to see a change in society. They are not staff or prominent people. However, asking a family member to donate can be awkward, and an individual can be unsure of how to start the conversation. Here are ways in which an individual can encourage a loved one to start giving.

 

  1. Tell a Story

Encouraging a loved one to donate may require more than dry statistics. An individual needs to use storytelling to show the impact of the cause on people and society.

 

  1. Use Different Ways to Reach People

The use of social media can be of great benefit in reaching friends and family who are not in close contact. But for those that are close, a phone call or an email can be effective. An individual can also request loved ones to get involved in the cause other than making donations.

 

  1. Make it Easy

It is important to have a proper donation channel. Eliminate guesswork and consider the various ways in which people make donations. Let them understand whether the organization can receive gifts.

 

  1. Organize a Birthday Fundraiser

An individual can demonstrate commitment by asking friends to donate in honor of a birthday. Online platforms such as GoFundMe can be effective for this campaign.

 

5. Express Gratitude

An individual should always thank the potential donors even before they reach out for their wallets. It is also important to express gratitude when sending the message or when sharing the online platform link.

The Biggest Trends In Philanthropy for 2020

As the world evolves, philanthropy evolves as well. People are always finding new ways to give back and make a difference in the world, regardless of the obstacles they may encounter. While we’re halfway through 2020 and things are much more complicated than many expected in the world due to the global pandemic known as COVID-19, many trends are still occurring or can be expected to occur. Here are a few of the biggest trends we’ve seen and will continue to see in philanthropy as 2020 continues. 

People Will Continue To Give Regardless Of If It’s Seen

While it can sometimes be hard to believe, people are giving back more than ever nowadays. The biggest difference is that you don’t always see people giving back to a charity. Many Americans give to crowdfunding sites such as GoFundMe, or will try and raise money or needed supplies for families that are struggling. GoFundMe says that a new fundraiser is started on their site every 8 seconds, which is mind blowing to think about. More than ever people are trying to do better regardless of whether or not it makes them look good, and many are trying to make sure those donations go directly to the people in need as opposed to the organizations that act as intermediaries.

Philanthropy May Become More Polarized

With the 2020 presidential election fast approaching, many people will begin to donate to causes that may be the focus of some political conversations. This is commonly called “rage giving” and isn’t always the greatest way to approach philanthropy. This political polarization can cause larger funders to shift the way they approach their charitable giving, such as funders adopting a non traditional “charitable” LLC which helps them engage in policy debate more.

Tech Will Move Philanthropy More Than Ever

This trend likely doesn’t come as much of a surprise, and will also be a trend that we see for years to come. As time passes, technology becomes better. This is only inevitable, and the better tech becomes, the more people will utilize it to make their lives easier. This can be seen with philanthropy as well. Due to mobile phones and the existence of apps on our phones, it’s faster and easier than it ever has been to vet a nonprofit. They allow us to give to the causes we choose almost instantly, and it’s even easier to share that with our friends and family in hopes that they will also give back.

How to Handle Donor Fatigue the Right Way

A lot of organizations dread to hear the words donor fatigue. It means that there is a lack of cash flow, which can be intimidating to think about. However, there is are ways to remedy donor fatigue.

 

Host Engaging Events

If people aren’t engaged, they likely will not feel inclined to make donations. It is important to create a comfortable space that promotes socialization. One great way to make the events comfortable for donors is to host events that are not fundraising events. The organization does not have to pour a lot of money into these events. Hosting events that are not meant to bring in donations allows donors to create relationships and learn about the cause in a no-pressure environment.

 

Communication is Key

Donors need to know where their money is going and the impact it is having. If the organization does not have a consistent way to communicate with donors, it needs to get one stat! This can be through a newsletter, social media page, or even text updates. There are plenty of tools available online to help automate this process if the organization has a large number of donors.

 

Find Out Why Donors Leave

It is no surprise that the business will lose some of its donors eventually. Use this opportunity to learn why the donor stopped donating. This information is valuable as the business continues to grow its relationships with donors. Be sure to ask in a courteous and non-obtrusive way in order to keep the relationship with past donors positive.

The Case for Team Fundraising

Usually, when one thinks about fundraising, you picture the efforts of one determined, and probably exhausted, person. But, nowadays, that isn’t usually the case, since many that support a given cause come together to fundraise in the form of a team. These teams consist of family members, friends, neighbors, and colleagues that band together to raise funds for charities.

 

This approach often yields better results than working alone. Here are three reasons why you should give it a try:

 

It Gives Confidence to New Supporters

If you are more of an occasional supporter or you are brand new to fundraising, you may feel more comfortable working within a group. The work will not seem as nerve-wracking if the responsibility of hitting a targeted goal is shared by several people.

 

You Can Appoint a Team Captain to Organize the Effort

Team captains can give everyone the encouragement and motivation they need to keep going. They also make a huge difference because a team campaign can become disjointed with so many “cooks in the kitchen.” 

 

A seasoned leader can set appropriate, realistic goals and, based on every individual team member’s strength, assign tasks that each will excel at.

 

It Allows the Charity to Expand its Reach

Teams, by their very nature, are formed by many people, each with their own friends, families, and professional networks. These individuals each probably have social media, as well, and that means the fundraising pages can be shared many more times than through one person alone.

 

In conclusion, team fundraising is a great way to help others through charitable means while also improving upon and streamlining the process.

Is it Important to Reward Donors?

The short answer is yes, it is extremely important to reward donors! When an organization takes the time to reward its donors, they create a long-lasting healthy relationship where both parties feel valued. What exactly is an appropriate donor reward? Keep reading to find out.

 

When considering a donor reward, it is important that the reward does not make the impression that the organization is wasting the donor’s money. The reward needs to be meaningful. This means that the person or organization giving the gift will have to go a bit deeper than a mug, t-shirt, or magnet.

 

One great way to make a connection through a reward is to show that a lot of time has been put into it. For example, make a journal and make specific entries throughout the year that reflect what the donor’s money is helping to do. This will need to be specific for each donor, so get a plan before getting started! Remember, handwritten is always more meaningful than something that is typed. If the time is available, go ahead and handwrite the journal entries.

 

Remember to show personality through the entries. Act as if you are writing to a friend. This will create a conversational tone to the journal and create a deeper connection with the donor. After the donor explores the journal, they’ll feel great knowing where their money went. They’ll also likely look forward to reading another journal next year! This is a great way to form a long-lasting relationship with donors.

 

If the organization has too many donors to provide each one with a handwritten journal, this idea can easily be taken to a digital level. Create a password protected webpage that can serve as a digital journal. Reward your donors with the password so that they can read the journal entries at their leisure. This will serve as great motivation for the organization to keep the journal updates since donors can be checking it at any time. This is also a great way to provide donors with an exclusive look inside the organization. Plus, it is inexpensive for the organization itself!

 

Understanding Trends in Online Fundraising

Americans are very giving as a culture. As technology evolves, it’s become important to target potential donors online. One example of this is the COVID-19 epidemic. Where traditionally many museums and other non-profits hosted big parties to raise money, many of those events have gone online. Organizations that have been light on their feet and quick to adapt have been able to continue to raise funds in spite of social distancing.

 

 Text-to-donate has also grown as a way to reach donors, particularly younger ones. People today are increasingly attached to their mobile phones. Smartphones have become the main place people organize their lives in many ways. And donors are willing to give via text in many cases. Organizations like the Red Cross have utilized this model with great success. Donors text a specific number, usually a 5-digit code. Donors are also willing to give to smaller, local charities they feel personally connected to with this model. Of course, it’s important to make sure donors are aware an organization is able to accept funds this way. Messaging via email or postal mail is a great way to make them aware of this. There are different software programs available to set this up. 

 

 Peer-to-peer fundraising is also a wonderful way for charities to increase online donations. Peer-to-peer means that people from the community ask their friends and family for donations. This is often done as a birthday fundraiser on platforms like Facebook. It’s a great way to keep giving at the forefront of a donor’s minds.

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