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Monday, January 7, 2013

A philanthropic strategy for enhancing the reach and impact of individuals, organizations and nonprofits 01-07



A philanthropic strategy for enhancing the reach and impact of individuals, organizations and nonprofits

  
By Ric Leutwyler Founder & President, Philanthropegie  
  

What would you do if you found out you were using less than 1% of the resources available to help you achieve your philanthropic goals?  Here’s what I did.

I have served philanthropic and social good organizations in some capacity for most of my adult life.  A common theme I saw along the way was that these organizations struggled to achieve clearly defined and compelling goals due to a lack of resources. 

Over time I was able to assist these organizations by helping them connect with individuals or other organizations that had what they needed.  In each case I was able to see a significant increase in the organizations’ ability to achieve their goals.

Then, it struck me.  If one connection can have such a positive impact for one organization…how much could be accomplished by facilitating hundreds, thousands or millions of connections?  I decided to find out.

In the year or so that I’ve been working on this, I’m not sure if I’ve spent more time explaining what Philanthropegie   is all about – or helping people figure out how to pronounce it? For the record, the phonetic spelling is written like this: Fil-un’n-THROP-eh-jee

Launched in summer 2012, Philanthropegie   is finally a reality. It’s much better than I originally thought it would be when we launched – and so much less than what I hope it will be in the future. We describe Philanthropegie as “a philanthropic strategy for enhancing the reach and impact of individuals, organizations and nonprofits dedicated to making a meaningful difference in the world.” You’re probably saying ‘Yeah… so what does that mean?’ If you’re bothering to read this, I’m guessing you have an interest in – maybe even a passion for? – philanthropy, social responsibility, giving back, doing good…making a difference. Thankfully, you’re not alone. There are thousands of organizations, millions of individuals and a very large, and growing, number of nonprofits that share that special interest in doing something to make the world a better place.

Far too often, we as individuals, or members of an organization or nonprofit, feel limited or constrained in our ability to make a real impact. Sometimes, it’s because we just don’t know where to start. Sometimes it’s because we don’t feel that we have the resources we need to achieve our vision of giving back, of empowering, of breaking a cycle or of giving hope. And all the while, there is actually an abundance of people, tools, services and organizations that likely have just what we need – if we could only find them.

Our strategy is to bring you together with the resources that you – as an individual, or a member of an organization or a nonprofit – need to accomplish what you feel in your heart you want to do. We believe that the best way we can make a difference, is to help others to make a difference.  To accomplish this, Philanthropegie  
  • Serves three key audiences (individuals, organizations and nonprofits) who we believe can accomplish much more working together than apart
  • Makes it easy to find the resources needed for virtually anything to do with philanthropic endeavors
  • Includes resource descriptions, tips, testimonials and ratings that will help users choose the best resources for their specific needs
  • Supports users in building their own, personalized library of favorite resources
  • Encourages the exchange of information and insight through our blog and social media channels

There is no fee to access the resources or post a resource on the website. In addition, we have no paid staff. All that you see on the site is the result of volunteer efforts.

I know we’ve only scratched the surface. Our site lists only a fraction of the wonderful resources ready to help you meet your philanthropic objectives. At this point, we have focused almost exclusively on North America – while the need is clearly a global one. It’s a start though – I believe a good one.