We complicate philanthropy. The word itself is complicated. It's academic. We live in a world where old ideas are made more simple over time, yet our society has chosen to complicate one of the oldest and simplest human notions--giving.
Philanthropy is simply giving.
And giving (the word and the action) is something that is accessible and possible for everyone. Yet, Philanthropy (the word and the action) has been used (intentionally or unintentionally) to divide givers by socioeconomic lines. Exactly how much social status does one need to become a "philanthropist"?
Who decides if one is apart of the philanthropist club?
How should one give in order to become a philanthropist? I don't have the answers. Perhaps, there are answers and I'm not privy to them.
Below is an image found by searching for "Philanthropic Event"
According to Webster's dictionary, philanthropy is:
"the desire to promote the welfare of others, expressed especially by the generous donation of money to good causes."
Philanthropy is tithing at church, buying girl scout cookies, and donating to your alma mater. Philanthropy is also donating money to your alma mater to fund the construction of a new academic building with your name emblazoned on it. Philanthropy is anyone who gives to a good cause. So let's breakdown the mental and physical barriers commonly associated with what it means to be a philanthropist--they're too confining and lack creativity.
I am a philanthropist. You are a philanthropist. We give to good causes. I've decided to take and use the word to describe myself. I'm aware that the word wasn't intended to describe me. Bill Gates, yes. Andrew Carnegie, yes. Laurene Powell Jobs, yes.
Me, not so much.
Nevertheless, last weekend I co-hosted a beach party with my cousins. It was a philanthropic event filled with generous philanthropists. We invited young DC urbanites. We had a DJ. He played Rap music, like
really loud. People had fun. People danced. Drinks were consumed. Our guests gave money to support a non-profit organization that we love.
AND a epic
game of Flip Cup ensued. My team lost.
Here I am celebrating the only game of flip cup my team won at my philanthropic event.
In the end, we all won. Flip Cup Philanthropy.
Raymar Hampshire is the founder of SponsorChange, a social enterprise that crowdfunds and rewards student loan payments for volunteers who complete skill-based projects at non-profit organizations. His twitter handle is @philanthroteer.