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Lexicographers at Oxford Dictionaries define philanthropy as: ‘The desire to promote the welfare of others, expressed especially by the generous donation of money to good causes.

Following the recent (2008) generosity of the mining magnate, Andrew Forrest there has been increased discussion about how generous the Australian community is towards those who are less well off than themselves: for most of us, the process is ad-hoc and not strategically focused. How do you deal with your charitable gifting?

In preparing this article we also found alternate definitions of philanthropy that are interesting – and might just challenge the way we go about our charitable giving! Here are a couple of them:-

  • The effort or inclination to increase the well-being of humankind, as by charitable aid or donations; and
  • …is more than just a charitable donation; it is an effort undertaken by an individual based on an altruistic desire to improve human welfare.

Here are a few helpful tips as to how you might make your philanthropic contribution to your community:-

  • Plan your financial donations – and that could include a portion for ‘ad-hoc’ door-knockers and street collectors;
  • Volunteer;  and
  • Be involved.

Planning your donations will lead to an examination of the reasons you want to support particular charitable organisations with the possible outcome that you will donate more to a select fewer groups – and may want to see them more accountable for what they do with your donation. A further benefit of this could be a heightened interest in the activities of at least a couple of these charities – that you may then feel comfortable about helping through volunteering.

To extend these activities further – and to provide them into a longer timeframe – you could also consider contributing to, or establishing a philanthropic endowment fund: this can be a rewarding wealth management experience – and is more achievable than might appear at first consideration. Properly structured, the initial capital contribution will give an immediate tax deduction and the ongoing benefits from the investment of the endowment capital will provide a source of funds to allocate to charities from your selection.

The experienced advisers at Continuum Financial Planners Pty Ltd can assist you with these processes as well as with working up a budget to facilitate your valuable contribution for the benefit of those who are ‘not so well off’. We can also introduce you to professionals and/ or networks who can help you manage your philanthropy. Use our Contact Us facility to make the connections.

(This January 2020 update, refreshes  an article originally posted on 23.05.2008)

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