Skip to main content
Home » Make a difference » Giving thoughtfully creates change
Make a Difference 2019

Giving thoughtfully creates change

iStock / Getty Images Plus

Éilis Murray

CEO, Philanthropy Ireland

The generous spirit of giving is evident throughout Ireland, but we tend to be reactive givers, making one-off gifts during times of disasters or responding to an immediate ask from a charity.

At its core, philanthropy is about strategic support, planning your giving for maximum impact. It asks the question: ‘What do you want to see changed as a result of your giving?’

Moving beyond money to help charities

In Ireland, the concept of philanthropy is still emerging. While there can be a tendency to associate the word with the super wealthy, such as well-known American philanthropists that we see in the media, that is only one part of the story.

We can all be philanthropists and contribute strategically to our favourite causes and charities. One great way of thinking about the contribution you can make is by considering the Three T’s of Philanthropy: Time, Treasure and Talent. Be it volunteering your time, making cash donations or contributing your skills to the cause you care most about, we all have the power to be everyday philanthropists. This is a key message for Philanthropy Ireland.

The power of corporate giving

There are so many inspiring organisations out there in need of support. Each one of these causes depends on public support to continue their great work. The growth in the number of businesses engaging in philanthropy or implementing corporate giving programmes is a welcome support for causes.

Many of the active corporate giving programmes we see are not only allowing businesses to become more involved in the communities they work in, but access to volunteering opportunities can ignite the philanthropist within employees, encouraging them to further engage with their charity of choice on a greater level. Corporates can show real leadership, a very welcome development.

Reflecting on how impactful we can be

There are several ways that, as donors, we can assess the impact of our gift. By asking questions like: ‘What difference can/has my donation made?’ We can take the first step to approaching our giving strategically and moving away from reactive giving to strategic philanthropy.

Many companies, too, are applying a strategic approach to their giving by benchmarking their success against existing metrics such as the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), allowing companies to make individual contributions towards a collective goal.

We can all ‘make a difference’ through philanthropy. At this time of year, the season of giving, we at Philanthropy Ireland encourage you to explore current trends and examples of strategic approaches to giving and to reflect on how you support those causes and charities closest to your heart. Think about your giving and what you would like it to achieve.

Next article