Philanthropy is a core value in America. People give back for good will and good causes, and they often seek to do business with corporations that share their commitment to helping others.
“The Trader Who Donates Half His Pay.”
One way that people are giving is through a movement called effective philanthropy or effective altruism. In this approach, people strategically give in a way that will produce the biggest impact. For example, Princeton University graduate Matt Wage accepted a high-paying finance job fresh out of college with the reasoning that the more money he made, the more he could donate to charity. In 2013, sources say he made over $100,000 in philanthropic contributions.
Through his gifts to Against Malaria Foundation, calculations showed he could save one child’s life for every $3,340 he donated – far more than he could accomplish if he volunteered directly for the charity.
Big Change for Effective Altruism
Big Change Advisors also provides an opportunity for people to maximize their impact, and accomplish more than they might be able to on their own.
Through an innovative arrangement with each client, a percentage of fees paid to Big Change Advisors goes directly to support the Los Angeles Mission. This gives businesses the ability to increase their philanthropy and corporate responsibility, while doing more to address the state of homelessness in L.A. – one of the city’s top concerns.
Personal Treasure versus Personal Time
This focus on effectiveness and maximum impact is of course beneficial. But at the same time, it can make many people believe that the only way – the best way – to make a difference is by giving money. People may also believe volunteering requires too much time or isn’t as effective as a financial donation.
But the bottom line is that it all makes a difference.
Giving time and talent is just as important as a financial arrangement. I volunteer every week at the LA Mission, where I help students prepare for job interviews by role playing, conducting mock interviews, and — most importantly — giving them hope. The 7 to 10 hours a week I spend at the Mission account for less than 5% of my total time. But when students come back to my office to visit and tell me about successful interviews and new jobs, the fulfillment is unquantifiable. It is the best feeling I have ever experienced, and it gives me hope in return.
Philanthropy comes in all shapes and forms. For some, it’s taking advantage of an opportunity to grow their business and their corporate responsibility. Or, it’s donating a portion of their salary, bonus, or commissions. For others, it’s volunteering at an organization that holds special meaning to them. At the end of the day, every contribution counts. Every contribution makes an impact. It’s all good and it all matters!
Steve Pomeroy is the founder of Big Change Advisors, an M&A consulting firm in Los Angeles focusing on middle market companies in the IT services space. Since 1992, Big Change leaders have completed over 36 transactions including M&A, Capital Sourcing, and Public Offerings representing over $800 million in total transaction value. Big Change Advisors donates a percentage of all fees to help serve the homeless through the Los Angeles Mission. To request a free consultant, contact us.