Domestic microfinance helps people start businesses, alleviate poverty, and create jobs

In international microfinance, small loans are made to help people in developing countries lift themselves out of poverty. This concept also works domestically. In the U.S., nonprofit microfinance organizations help low-income people start businesses, create jobs, alleviate poverty and improve their opportunities. Traditional financial institutions were created to help people who already have money or…

Hunger where we live — the philanthropic response

For more than 30 years, I’ve lived in the same neighborhood in Denver. It’s nice – with neat lawns, friendly people and a great sense of community. Just a few blocks from my home, there’s a public elementary school. Recently, I received a flier that asked for food donations to help fill the Friday-afternoon backpacks…

The 7 Deadly Excuses for Avoiding Philanthropy

Millions of generous Americans donate to charities as individuals or as part of a family or business. At the same time, many other people buy into myths about giving — myths that undermine their willingness to give (or give more) to worthy causes. Some of the common excuses I’ve encountered over the years: I don’t…

Religious values fuel charitable giving

The world’s major religions actively promote philanthropy by encouraging charitable actions that address such pressing issues as income inequality, hunger, homelessness, climate change, discrimination and injustice. America’s religions do the same. In 1835, political thinker Alexis de Tocqueville observed, “Not until I went into the churches of America and heard her pulpits aflame with righteousness…

Crowdfunding Fuels Philanthropy

Crowdfunding is a rapidly expanding Internet tool designed to allow large numbers of people to invest or contribute money in support of new businesses, people in need, interesting ideas or important causes. Its recent growth is impressive. In 2012, crowdfunding supported more than 1 million global campaigns. The amount raised was $2.7 billion, an increase…

Meaningful Philanthropy Can Be the Legacy You Leave

How many people can you name who lived 100 years ago? Including politicians, scientists, artists, inventors, historical figures and our own ancestors, many of us struggle to name even three dozen. How many of the 314 million Americans or 7 billion planetarians will be remembered 100 years from now? Very few of us will be…

Impact Investing: putting your money where your values are

More than ever, investors are pondering, “Am I destroying with my left hand what my right hand is trying to save?” Trillions of dollars are invested by millions of Americans in stocks and mutual funds, banks, and retirement funds like IRAs and 401(k)s, seeking to generate significant financial returns. Most of these investors are philanthropic,…

What’s love got to do with effective philanthropy?

The term “philanthropy” is a combination of two ancient Greek words: “philos” meaning “love” in the sense of caring for, nourishing, developing and enhancing; and “anthropos” meaning “human being” in the sense of our common humanity. A philanthropist is a person who expresses love of humanity through charitable efforts. Every year, hundreds of articles are…