You Don’t Need To Be a Millionaire to Become a Philanthropist!

A philanthropist is a person who donates their resources to the betterment of others. These resources can vary from time, skills, talent and or money. Many people falsely believe that a philanthropist is someone that has millions in the bank and can afford to give back.  

Larry Liberman, an expert in philanthropy accurately points out that “philanthropy is a state of mind that drives action. It doesn’t come from a gene pool, and it doesn’t come from a trust fund. Being a philanthropist does not require any minimum net worth or a six-figure income. There is no minimum amount that must be given. Philanthropy requires compassion, empathy, and intent.”  

The German word for a philanthropist is “Menschenfreund” which when broken down in English means “friend of the people”. The best thing I like about this definition is that it makes it completely silly to wait until you are earning six-figures to become one. We can all be “friends of the people” and can show our friendship through sharing our time, skills and money if we have it.  

Here is some advice on how to become a “Menschenfreund”.

Volunteering is an excellent opportunity. Do your homework and look for an organization or a cause working in an area of your interest, something close to your heart. I mention it being close to your heart because if you are not passionate about it, you will quickly burn out and volunteering should be an enjoyable process. Also, if you enjoy it, you are also more likely to do it more regularly.

Once you identify an organization or a cause, send them an email detailing what your skills and talents are. Also include how you think you could support their work. Smaller organizations are normally happy when they can spend their money on actual projects rather than paying employees which makes it a win-win.

If they already have someone working in the area of your expertise, consider supporting them based on the needs that they have. Always be willing to roll up your sleeves and get your hands dirty.

I hope you find ways to utilize your skills, talents and money to drive social change. Let me know if you implement any of the above or have questions on how to approach an NGO.

Here are some resources with volunteering opportunities in Switzerland and Zimbabwe.

You can find more by entering “volunteering opportunities in (city/country)” into a search engine.  

Volunteer in Switzerland -  

Volunteer in Luzern -  

Volunteer in Zurich - Volunteering opportunities for English-speaking ... - Stadt Zü › stzh › neu

Volunteer in Zimbabwe -  

Volunteer in Bulawayo -  

Volunteer in Harare -