There are many philanthropists out there, from big-name celebrities who partner with nonprofits to successful professionals who quietly give to causes they care about. Philanthropists can receive a lot of criticism for being ingenuine or supporting controversial organizations, but at the end of the day, most philanthropists just want to help. In the long run, though, some philanthropists leave a more significant impact than others–and these characteristics are often what makes the difference.


Educated on Causes They Support

The most impactful philanthropists are ones who can spread awareness and garner even more support for the causes they invest in. In order to do this, philanthropists need to be educated on those causes and the people whose lives they hope to impact. If you want to convince other people to care, you need to be able to help them understand the problem. Impactful philanthropists are able to tell compelling stories, accurately and respectfully share about their cause, and explain how others can help or get involved. If you give inaccurate information or belittle people when talking about your mission, other people won’t want to be involved.


Actively Work to Solve Problems

Anyone can sign a check and mail it off to a nonprofit. While funding is vital, impactful philanthropists invest their time and energy as well as their money. This might look like volunteering time with a charitable organization, hosting a large fundraising event, or funding endeavors such as research or outreach programs. Philanthropists who leave a legacy get their hands dirty and directly interact with the issues they care about, helping get the work done any way they can.


Giving Where it Makes a Difference

Finally, impactful philanthropists research where their donations will have to most impact to ensure they give where it counts. Sometimes giving to specific projects makes a bigger difference than giving to a general fund. For philanthropists who want to make a difference, consider reaching out to the people at your favorite nonprofits and asking what kind of donations are most helpful to them at the moment–and it may not be money! It may be more helpful for you to purchase supplies for them rather than just sending money.