Philanthropy is an interesting concept. As Alfred "Bobby" Vassallo explains, "You make money, not to give it away, but to enjoy the life you've engineered. As you age, you realize things aren't so rosy for the rest of mankind. You attempt to make things better by donating to local charities and trying to improve the lot of that family across the tracks. Soon, an article comes out exposing the fact that a penny or two of each dollar you sent actually gets to the problem. Now you wished you'd never started down this track."
Bobby was not thrilled to learn where his donated dollars were going, so he became "hands on". He went on the boards of organizations and really learned how philanthropy worked from the inside. He learned from the great givers and how they worked at philanthropy. He went to Africa for the famine and again for HIV/Aids. He ventured to mudslides in Guatemala and earthquakes in Mexico (RECENT EARTHQUAKES). Vassallo tried to get to the definition of Philanthropy.
As Bobby sees it, the philanthropy problem for charities remains two-fold: Fund-Raising and Administrative Overhead. If a charity spends too much money to raise money, its ratings go way down and big donors stop giving. Charities, like businesses, must have a budget to grow. When great givers look at the big charitable organizations, they realize which charities spend too much on fund-raising. Conversely, many older, more established charities, spend huge amounts on administrative overhead. Some, in excess of 75%! (See Charity Navigator in "Links"). INFO on Bobby Vassallo?
Great Givers aren't likely to get a solicitous phone call, then write out a fat check. Most big donors take a great amount of time studying their true passion and direction in giving before settling on their personal style of philanthropy or a specific charity. These driven few take the time to identify which causes are most important to them and their families.
Great Givers know the sectors of philanthropy they would like to impact, whether aids in Africa (World Aids Datatbase) or the YMCA. Likewise, Bobby hopes you will strive to do the same in your quest to improve this world.
look around the site for ideas on what Bobby Vassallo (of La Jolla, CA) considers "honorable
charities" who could use your help. These are groups with high marks
for getting it right. Bobby includes a number of links for you, as
well. Please give intelligently. That guy across the tracks needs you!
Get to the Links page to see our Favorite Charities.Give your thoughts and ideas on Philanthropy ideas, techniques and opinions.