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"Feed your soul"

Updated: Jul 27, 2023

Saw this article and thought I would share a snippet ...

“What advice would I give to younger people getting started on their philanthropic journey? I would start with just get out and learn, learn, learn from people on the front lines of great work being done near you and around the world. Philanthropy is really a means to an end not an end in and of itself so find ways to plug in relationally with inspiring people and organisations that can help you learn. Centre your philanthropy in movements happening around you to both end suffering and get to the deeper roots of the problem.

Allow your heart to enter into the despair and heartache of our world’s injustices and also the deep longings of people to be their own change in a way that you feel them as your own. There is a role for giving out of a sense of generosity, a sense of having way too much privilege, or just wanting to be of help. But the most transformative type of philanthropy, to me, grows out of a deep sense of solidarity with both the struggles and the longings of the human family. I guess you might call this ‘love’ or ‘empathy’—whatever you call it, it has the power to heal, to awaken something deeper in our shared humanity to lay down one’s advantages for the collective good, and motivate a deeper level of change to transform the deeper roots of the oppressions humans have inflicted on each other for too long.

Allowing one’s heart to break and leak into your work can help to remove the transactional nature of philanthropy and get you to want to do more than what those ‘rules of the road’ around money and investing say you should do. Continue to strive to learn best practices from experts and mentors in the field but also listen to your own intuitions.

Find a way to stay connected in some way with the work your philanthropy is investing in, not to centre yourself in it in a way that gives too much credit to the giver, but to feel joy in just being a vessel, a cog in the wheel, to help make stuff happen.

Allow yourself to just keep learning as you go and allow yourself to take detours and twists and turns as your philanthropy unfolds. Look for ways to democratise and share the power inherent in philanthropy—this is way more fun and smart and enables one to stay humble and navigate the contradictions inherent in philanthropy. Most of all stay centered and human. Let it unfold in a way that helps you stay in touch with your own soul and larger movements afoot in the world that are moving the world forward toward the more free and just world where all human beings and the earth itself can flourish and where philanthropy is not so needed."Emily Nielson Jones".

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