Guide to Local Philanthropy
Our Guide to Local Philanthropy by Charles Gladfelter Hanover PA
Picture the grassroots experiencing sustainable change that elevates their life to a better and higher standard. Think about meeting the needs of specific issues in different places while ensuring that proper infrastructure is being pieced together to build up the local community. Why limit yourself geographically to areas where you know the people there when you are able to bring this model of change to virtually anywhere around the world without being limited by where you are?
The promising yet challenging idea of local philanthropy the 21st century is a paradigm shift that is worth considering. Philanthropists always aim to make sure their gifts will leverage local relationships and local knowledge to positively impact the community, but to do so on an international level with a similar effect is the hallmark of the finest national and international philanthropy.
While there is always room for local philanthropy to weave its magic, Charles Gladfelter, a local philanthropist, intends to look beyond the horizon and have a larger impact. Being a well known Hanover area philanthropist, Charles Gladfelter of Hanover PA has always felt a special connection to the people there but would like to increase the potential of giving by impacting a wider radius. Charles Gladfelter of Hanover would like to open up new doors and opportunities for seasoned as well as up-and-coming philanthropists to kickstart something that has a far wider reaching range than ever thought possible.
What exactly is funding locally?
When it comes to funding locally, the basic gist of it can be translated to the simple yet meaningful act of giving money to local nonprofit organizations. This is also commonly known as place-based giving, or having a holistic outlook that concerns acclimatizes itself to both the needs and culture of a particular place, be it starting small with a neighborhood, widening the reach to include a city or even a region before giving your money to the cause.
Such an approach will require the right kind of strategy, where chief among them would be to gain an understanding of what the locals need before aligning one’s giving to be in tandem with such priorities. In other words, seek to understand what the local community requires as opposed to telling them what they need. Your giving will play the important role of being both the catalyst and growth agent that will hopefully bring about an evolution to the community or area over the course of time.
Donors within the local context can make full use of their existing knowledge and relationships in order to expand their circle of influence with other local donors. This level of cooperation will be the door to inspire a cohesive effort that introduces change using the bottom-up model.
It can be a complex endeavor. It requires thorough research. It requires sensitivity and sophistication in networking, grantmaking and impact measurement. It also usually requires dedication and commitment from the philanthropists involved. Make no mistake about it, local philanthropy is hard work, but the reward is truly worth every single penny put in. It is normal to involve the key stakeholders in the funding process since they will be the ones supported at first, before stabilizing to move in the direction of evolution within the local community itself. It can function as a safety net or incubation process when it involves new networks that are still fragile in nature, enabling people within the community to gain the feeling of significance, meaning in life and having a purpose in order to thrive.
There is no “one size fits all” model when it comes to philanthropy, as each situation is always different from another although there might be overlapping similarities. A particular approach might be successful to a philanthropist, but it could prove to fail for another. Before proceeding, there are some questions that you need to ask yourself.
“Am I a bottom-up funder?”
Local philanthropy has the power to provide home-grown organizations with the right tools to achieve a beneficial goal for everyone. A bottom-up funder will realize that a degree of control will have to be relinquished along the way, as local stakeholders will be the ones helming the effort. Backed with adequate funding, they are able to influence and shape a particular initiative in order to bring about positive transformation to the community.
“How do I make sense of collaboration?”
We understand that you have every right to spend your money in the way you like, so picking the right partner with values that are aligned to yours will be extremely important. Some philanthropists prefer to take the traditional independent route by picking the nonprofit organization that best suits their value system and learning on how large an impact their giving can make. Others see philanthropy as a cog in the wheel of building up a team through the pursuit of a common goal which can only be achieved through engagement with the local community and getting to know the various stakeholders better. Either method works when it comes to local philanthropy, so do know which model suits you best before proceeding.
“How do I view sustainability?”
Sustainability is always a benchmark that local philanthropists should take into consideration, although there are always exceptions such as short term or one-off projects that do require funding in order to provide a long lasting impact within the community. Local funding tends to come with a higher degree of risk as one is often starting from the bottom in order to work on solutions that will cause a positive breakthrough among the community. Partnership with community leaders and residents to offer volunteers will also help develop a degree of sustainability in the long run.
“What is my risk appetite?”
Philanthropy can also be deemed to be a kind of investment that has very different metrics to define success. Depending on your risk appetite, pick a stable and sustainable local affiliate that you are comfortable with. It would also serve you well to know just how much of your giving is being used on the field itself, and the percentage set aside for operational and management matters.
Get in touch with Charles Gladfelter, local philanthropist, today in order to find out more on how exactly are you able to help change the lives of the local and international community through your time and giving.