Select Page

Being a philanthropist encompasses supporting organizations, charities, and networks through a variety of diverse routes. Think of skills, activism, time, and attention as a form of currency. To inspire you, here are some suggestions on how to be a philanthropist without money.


Pooling Resources and Pro Bono Aid

One way to be a philanthropist is by gifting a modest sum of money, which when combined with others’ funds can create a pool of resources, according to Cheryl Chapman, director of City Philanthropy, in a piece for The Guardian.For the price of a cup of coffee a day, an individual can make an economic impact in charitable giving.


We have the opportunity to make our charitable institutions more democratic and inclusive by uniting our resources. Chapman suggests that by joining together with a unity of purpose, individuals can create “certain communities, broaden networks and connect influential people with each other.” Online charitable giving sites allow people with a modest amount of funding to donate to work together to create effective philanthropic resources.


Beyond money, there are other ways of contributing. For example, if an individual possesses a skill that he or she would like to utilize in the service of a social cause, there are online organizations that work to connect people with skills and the charities that require those skills.


The Philanthropy of Creativity and Kindness

If philanthropy is a way of nurturing and protecting others, then kindness may be interpreted as a form of philanthropy. Steven Crandell tells the story of Corinne Updegraff Wells in his piece for HuffPost. Wells was an activist who helped her neighbor, who lacked money for childcare, by gifting her with one day a week of childcare and help with the chores.


Crandell opens up the idea of philanthropy to include engaging in active connection by three tangible methods of money-free philanthropy, using “food, welcome, and respect” as ways to break through isolation and forge relationships. Philanthropy can be based upon abundance rather than the scarcity mentality, he posits, and individuals can share what is in generous supply, whether it is time, attention, skills, or experience, as well as funds.


By utilizing attention, creativity, and caring, there are many opportunities to be a philanthropist without money. Get started today and make a difference in supporting worthwhile causes.