January 07, 2015

10 Trade-Offs That Donors Face That Make Philanthropy Tough But Rewarding

Melissa A. Berman at the Chronicle of Philanthropy writes:

Philanthropists often say that giving away money is tougher than any other job they have had. What makes philanthropy particularly demanding are the tensions and trade-offs donors constantly struggle with to achieve thoughtful, effective giving.

As F. Scott Fitzgerald aptly said, “The test of a first-rate intelligence is the ability to hold two opposed ideas in mind at the same time and still retain the ability to function. One should, for example, be able to see things as hopeless and yet be determined to make them otherwise.”

After advising wealthy donors for more than a decade, my colleagues and I at Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisors have identified 10 tensions with which every strategic donor wrestles. The dichotomy should make clear that there is no right or wrong, but that each of these ideas factors into the giving equation, resulting in philanthropy that is both inspiring and challenging.

Click here to continue reading on the Chronicle of Philanthropy website.