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Philanthropy Reconsidered: Mutually Conducive Conditions

Last week I started a series of articles based on the work of George McCully speaking to the paradigm shift occurring in the philanthropic world. As George writes in his book, “… paradigm shifts are irreversible changes in fundamental structures and strategies, some of the basic outlines of the future paradigm, or aspects of the old paradigm that will probably disappear… ” And he further explains, “Causation in history is the coincidence of mutually conducive conditions”.

In order to understand that is happening, and how things are being re-aligned and restructured, let’s look at the following table.

20th Century 21st Century

Technology

Printing, mail, telephone

Computerized databases, the cloud, the Internet, social media

Economy

Traditional, steady growth, generally stable, corporate economy

High technology, global economy, rapid expanse new wealth, super global corporations

Institutions

Private foundations lead, community foundations, large dominating charities, professional associations, National Taxonomy of Exempt Entities (not donor centered)

Donor-advised funds, private foundations multiply, focus to whole philanthropic community, barriers dissolve, virtual philanthropic community develops

People

Professionalization makes philanthropy highly technical

New and emerging donors explore unconventional ways of giving and volunteering

Practices

Industrialized fundraising – telemarketing, direct mail and competitive grant-making

Donor education, venture philanthropy, giving circles, e-philanthropy, collaboration, advisors

Rhetoric

Moral obligation “giving away”, “giving back”, “nonprofits”, “needy”, “disadvantaged”.

Constructive appeal “Donor investors”, “social change”, “make a difference”. Classical concept of philanthropy arises.

Results

< 2% GDP and AGI, only 25% itemizers of charitable deductions, < 20% of taxable estates make charitable bequests, 5% largest charities get 80% of the grant dollars, 80% of the smallest charities get 5% of the grant dollars

Aiming higher and too soon to tell what the paradigm shift will produce.

Note: the above table is this author’s interpretation of key points found on page 69 of Philanthropy Reconsidered: Private Initiatives – Public Good – Quality of Life

By reviewing the above and for those in the industry and who support to the philanthropic sector, it is easy to acknowledge that computerization and the Internet have revolutionized every aspect of our civilization, including charitable work. Earlier this year, $11,000 was donated to charity in a single tweet via Twitter.

Globalization is breaking down barriers not only in people’s ability to communicate with anyone around the world, but also to be able to support any initiative they want. A good example of this is Kiva, which provides microloans to businesses around the world.

Donor-advised funds and private foundations continue to grow, and as I too have written about in the past, the lines are continually being blurred between “non-profits” and “for-profits” as more and more companies align their business models to benefit society and not only their investors. Could there be a day where most charities simply cease to exist?

Innovation and experimentation continue in an unrelenting and never before seen pace. Technology, the economy, institutions, etc are all playing a part in the perfect storm of mutually conducive conditions that are changing what we all understood of charity through the 20th Century. And, although we know it is evolving, most of us do not have a full picture of what the face of philanthropy will look like 5, 10 or 15 years from now. This provides each one of us as people who work in the field of social purpose or support the industry as donors (or consumers) with an opportunity to help chart the course into the future.

Residual Income and How You Can Build It

Nowadays, it is easy to get trapped in the corporate world. We barely notice how getting a day job eats up most of our time only to be rewarded by so little income, or at least income that equates the amount of work that you do. What many of us do not understand is that there is a way for us to earn money in such a way that it will be the one that works for us, not the other way around. We can actually become our own bosses, and when we become such, we earn residual income.

What is residual income?

There are generally several types of income, first being the earned income. With earned income, the amount of work that you do equates to the amount of money that you earn-basically, it is a linear process. Then we have the portfolio income, where you sell an investment for a price higher than what you paid it for. Lastly, we have the residual or the passive income, where your assets earn the income for you. For example, buying a property and renting it out to tenants. Residual income is not just limited to physical properties. This could also be applied in intellectual property. Getting paid for the photos that you posted on the internet so that a commercial brand can use it is another example of a residual income.

What are ways on how you can earn residual income?

Needless to say, the best type of income is the residual income because it is basically letting the money roll in while you sit back and rest. In essence, it is like you are investing in something that people are willing to pay for over and over again. Can you think of investments that can do that for you? Investing in travel and leisure is the way that is closest to us, but it is not limited to only that. There are numerous investments that you can have. Aside from investing in a travel property, you can also invest on a blog. When you are already reaching a decent number of readers, brands and businesses will actually pay you so you can promote them.

In a nutshell, the possibility of building residual is endless, and the more creative you are, the better. It can be about mixing and matching-investing in travel property AND writing a travel blog sounds like a dynamic duo. What matters the most is how willing you are to invest.

Follow the Money: Finding a Career in Corporate Treasury

To most outsiders, the world of corporate treasury is little known and little understood. It seems synonymous with glass-paneled skyscrapers, starched collars and seven-figure sums. The treasury department of a large company is responsible for developing and assessing every element of financial strategy, from daily transactions to long-term investments. Treasury managers outline financial policy and define what constitutes risk. They are constantly looking to the future, measuring credit risk, currency risk, liquidity risk etc.

Treasury Jobs

Corporate treasury is an exciting and diverse branch of finance, completely autonomous these days from accountancy. However, it’s not an easy sector to get into, especially if you’re just starting out. You’ll notice early on that treasury positions are not generally marketed to recent graduates but to experienced candidates who have earned their bread in other financial sectors.

With a fast-paced environment and strong financial rewards, corporate treasury is certainly alluring but how do you get a foot on the ladder? Getting there and staying there requires hard work. In a treasury department you will be expected to contribute meaningfully to day-to-day decision making. It often requires a good working knowledge of specific global markets and foreign exchange workflows.

Hard Work and Big Rewards

There is nowhere to hide in corporate treasury. Dealing on a daily basis with banks and shareholders requires a broad skill-set. Knowledge of the sector is not enough. Financial management and treasury jobs often involve extensive collaboration. Communication and interpersonal skills are highly sought after. In the beginning you may find yourself managing cash-flows or investments, developing new financial workflows or focusing on exchange markets.

Entry level jobs usually include the word “analyst” in the title so when you check out the jobs boards, look out for titles like “treasury analyst” or “risk analyst.” As you advance with the company you may rise to assistant and perhaps manager. The highest position is usually finance director.

Necessary Background

Most people in treasury will have a substantial background in economics. A bachelor’s degree in business is a good place to start. In order to enhance their resume and experience, many people follow this up with a post-graduate specialization. At entry level, treasury jobs can be hard to come by and you may have to build up a portfolio of experience, perhaps in an area like investment banking or licensed accountancy. This will give you credibility and help you to create a network of contacts within the industry. Treasury jobs offer exciting opportunities for the right individuals.

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