Think about all the assets you can bring to the table to advance your cause. Then deploy them!
If philanthropists have anything, they have money. In fact, they have so much money that after taking care of themselves, their family, and their businesses, they’ve determined they have plenty left over to give away to help others. As a philanthropist, whether you earned the money, inherited the money, or you give other people’s money away as part of your job, you have access to wealth.
But guess what? You have access to much more than just money. You have a staggering amount of assets you can deploy to help tackle whatever problem you are trying to solve. This includes:
- Your smarts
- The introductions you can make and the doors you can open, through your extensive contacts
- Your expertise (e.g., legal, business development, CRM, event planning)
- Your knowledge about a topic (e.g., home visiting, rural communities, your local government)
- Training and technical assistance you and your employees can provide
- Your home (e.g., to host a fundraising event for a nonprofit grantee)
- Your conference room (e.g., to allow a grantee to have an off-site strategy retreat)
- Your airline miles (to help nonprofit leaders travel for professional development and learning)
- Your possessions that could be donated (e.g., art, jewelry, a farm)
- Your reputation, which could signal to others the importance of an issue you are involved in
- Your financial assets, which could be invested in ways that align to your values, goals and strategies
- The grants and assets of other funders you could leverage to exponentially advance your goals
And on it goes –the list is almost endless!
But guess what? Most of us don’t even think about – much less deploy – these assets. We’re so fixated on the limitations of our grant budgets we forget that we can advance our goals through our unique talents. We’re so frequently asked to give money we forget our philanthropy is more than money.
The CEO of JP Morgan Chase, Jamie Dimon, knows this. Last night on the CBS television show 60 Minutes he shared how, in addition to donating $200 million to help revitalize Detroit, Michigan, JP Morgan Chase gave more than money. A lot more. In addition to funding affordable housing, workforce development, small business development for entrepreneurs of color, they deployed data analytics.
“We use big data and artificial intelligence in running our businesses around the world for risk and credit and marketing. So here [in Detroit], we actually have huge data, too, about how people spend their money,” explained Jamie Dimon. For example, they used data analytics to determine where people in Detroit use credit cards, debit cards, and checks at places like stores and restaurants, and how far they had to drive from home to do that. This information was then shared to help entrepreneurs determine the best places to open new businesses and restaurants, and where to put affordable housing. While $200 million in funding is nothing to sneeze at, access to this type of information is almost priceless.
The good news is you don’t need to be the billionaire CEO of JP Morgan Chase to deploy your assets. You just need to be you. You need to identify your assets and you need to deploy them.
Here’s what you can do:
1. Brainstorm: Spend an hour by yourself or with your team and brainstorm every asset you can think of (beyond your cash) that could be helpful to the nonprofits, communities, and your cause. Start by asking yourself “If we had no money, what else could we offer that would help?” Make this a true brainstorm and include every crazy idea. Write them all down.
2. Prioritize: Review your list and identify the most promising and useful assets. You could even ask your grantees for their opinions: “Here’s a list of all the assets we can think of besides our grants, would any of these be helpful to you?” Your prioritized asset list can be long, but make sure you document it.
3. Deploy: There are unlimited ways to deploy your assets and you can keep it simple.
Want more ways to transform your giving and deploy your assets? My upcoming book, Delusional Altruism: Why Philanthropists Fail To Achieve Change and What They Can Do To Transform Giving, will be full of ideas you can implement immediately. It’s due to release in March 2020. Stayed tuned for more information and ways you can pre-order a copy!
Have more questions or need help brainstorming different ways to make your philanthropy about more than just money? Give me a call!
Every philanthropist deserves a world-class advisor to guide them toward their greatest level of impact.
© 2019 Kris Putnam-Walkerly. All rights reserved. Permission granted to excerpt or reprint with attribution.
About Kris Putnam-Walkerly
I’m a global philanthropy expert, advisor and award-winning author. I help ultra-high net worth donors, celebrities, foundations and Fortune 500 companies dramatically increase the clarity, speed, impact and joy of their giving. I’m the author of Confident Giving: Sage Advice for Funders, was named one of “America’s Top 25 Philanthropy Speakers”(along with U2’s Bono!), I write about philanthropy for Forbes.com, Alliance Magazine, De Dikke Blauwe and am frequently quoted in leading publications such as Bloomberg, NPRand WSJ.
Whether you are just getting started in philanthropy, want to refresh your giving strategy, or need to catapult yourself to your desired future, I can help. Let’s talk! Call me at +1-800-598-2102 x1, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or schedule a call.
“As my trusted advisor, Kris Putnam-Walkerly helped our foundation navigate an organizational transformation to become more strategic and develop a clear plan to implement our new strategy. She offers funders a fresh perspective and practical tips to improve their giving.”
Dr. Laura Gerald, President, Kate B. Reynolds Charitable Trust