The word “philanthropy” usually brings to mind the act of giving in support of a worthy cause. And this description is, of course, true.
At its core, however, philanthropy is much more. As entrepreneur and philanthropist Eli Broad famously said, “Charity is just writing checks and not being engaged. Philanthropy, to me, is being engaged….”
Once upon a time, check-writing was the hallmark of charitable giving, and conversations about giving revolved around doing good by selecting worthy causes. Nothing is wrong with this approach, and few can deny the world-changing impact it’s had over the years—from transforming local communities to changing the global landscape.
Indeed, the Community Foundation of New Jersey (CFNJ) has long incorporated this philanthropic approach in its mission, helping donors give more than $50 million annually from donor advised funds to charitable organizations. CFNJ also offers individuals multiple in-house investment options to help them grow their donor advised fund balances and expand their ability to have an impact on the communities and causes closest to their hearts.
But as individuals increasingly seek to engage more not only in the product of their giving but also in its process, traditional approaches to philanthropy are changing.