Money Well Spent


In light of global financial woes and strained government budgets, the ability of philanthropy to help solve problems may never have been this important.  But how can financially successful households be certain their contributions are effective?



Dr. Frumkin contends that philanthropy should be seen as a significant way to express personal thinking and commitments and as an important way to meet public needs. He’s identified the five fundamentals that donors should consider if their philanthropy is to amount to more than indiscriminate charity. Donors should:


1. Determine the underlying purpose of the gift.

Is it for a personal passion,such as, historic preservation, animal protection or theater and the arts or is it a public need such as human rights, world hunger or cancer prevention?  Dr. Frumkin suggests that a blended approach may have more impact.


2. Define your grant making methodology and the theory of change to be pursued.

Is it as an individual, organizational, through networks or collaboration, a big idea or policy change?


3. Find a satisfying, productive giving style and profile level.

In other words, do you want to make your giving public or do you prefer to do it privately?


4. Identify the vehicle through which giving will flow.

Do you want to give to a charitable foundation, a private foundation or donor-advised fund, such as the National Philanthropic Trust, United Way Worldwide or the Renaissance Charitable Gift Fund?


5. Settle on a timeframe and pace of fund disbursement to guide giving.

Do you want the opportunity to make a pledge and payment over a designated time frame or simply make an outright gift?


While giving at first seems to be a straightforward matter of handing over money, philanthropy is in fact a complex and nuanced art that requires research and strategic thinking. If you want to maximize the effectiveness of your efforts, PartnersInWealth can help you navigate through this.


The philanthropic landscape is changing as the next generation of financially successful households seeks to leave its mark on society. Dr. Frumkin’s roadmap will be an essential resource for years to come for those strategically distributing what Andrew Carnegie called “surplus wealth.”