Being a philanthropist isn’t only about donating money. Although donating money to a charity is a noble thing to do, there are a lot more things that go into being a successful philanthropist. Taking on this title requires work outside of simple donation, and below are some tactics you can employ if you want to be a true philanthropist.

Find a Charity

You have to do your research before you ascribe to a cause. There are many charities out there worthy of your time and money, however it is important to be passionate about a cause and in line with an organization’s mission in order to create a successful relationship with it. To get started, here is a list of 2018’s top nonprofit organizations. It is also important to research some of the terms that go along with philanthropy such as non profit, endowments, capital campaign, and so on. Here is a list of terminology related to philanthropy.

Be a Leader

It is important that a philanthropist is not only knowledgeable about the causes they support, but is also a leader in that organization, industry, or what have you. It is often the case that donors to a cause gain a voice within that organization. As such, these individuals must have the courage to speak up, voice opinions, and take charge of situations. You may have to take on a larger role in an organization outside of donating money, simply because there is a need to be filled. You have to be willing to advocate for your cause and put your words behind your donations.


Volunteering for a cause will give you insight that you wouldn’t have been exposed to otherwise. Typically you see individuals volunteering who don’t have the means to be big time donors, however it is an experience that everyone should have. There are countless reasons to volunteer, some of which you might not think of. Often volunteering helps people to connect with others, and boosts their self esteem. If those reasons aren’t enough, you can reference this list of reasons people volunteer.

Donate Money

Last, and most obvious but not not least, a philanthropist is someone who donates money to a cause. While most philanthropists better the lives of others through large donations, the definition of philanthropist doesn’t exclude those who simply wish to improve the welfare of others. Donations can help causes in many ways, such as providing resources, and often the more successful organizations have a large network of donors. However, it is not the most important part of what it means to be a philanthropist.