Steve's Reflections


In 1999 and 2000, Steve Kirsch outlined his thoughts on a variety of philanthropic and political reform topics. Please select from the list to find those of interest to you.

Reflection #11

"Secrets" to Successful Giving

Read current information about ways to give.

1) Decide what type of person you are:

  • PROACTIVE: You have found value in giving and want to give. Most important, you are looking for opportunities to give in the areas that you have decided are important to you in order to achieve a set of goals.
  • REACTIVE: You are not actively looking to give. You are either too busy ("it's not a priority for me now") or you spend time determining whether to give and how much to give as opportunities arise.

If you are "reactive," then you may be successful in giving your money away, but you are unlikely to be successful in reaching your charitable goals. Try to be a proactive philanthropist.

2) If you decide you are going to be proactive about giving, establish an endowed fund at a community foundation. You make one donation and then can donate from that fund for the rest of your life. It makes giving easy and painless and fun.

3) Pick causes you believe in and want to do something about. The best way to find a cause is simply to let it find you. You’ll experience, hear about, or read about something that you think is not right and that someone should fix. If you feel passionately about the cause, then make it your own. It could be something as simple as "someone should do something about the long wait times in the Emergency Room at the local hospital" or something as complicated as fixing our political system.

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