1. What is a philanthropist?  

A philanthropist is someone who donates resources, often including time and expertise but always including substantial financial resource, to a particular cause, area or social issue. They do this in a way that is focused, sustained and designed to support meaningful change within a given issue or problem.

Philanthropists are not necessarily wealthy, as philanthropic causes require time and expertise just as much as they require money.

2. How to become a philanthropist – step by step

The steps to becoming a philanthropist will differ depending on your chosen journey, but the following points are vital when it comes to adopting the right mindset:

Step 1: Find your ‘why’

Decide what’s most important to you. How do you want to give back? Which causes do you care about the most? And what do you hope to achieve, on the whole? It can help to make a list of your answers and keep going back to them to see if things change or develop over time.

Step 2: Set some goals

These will depend on your focus area, but consider the different outcomes you see yourself working towards. 

Step 3: Get to the root of the issue

It’s time to don your strategy hat. Spend some time working out how to create lasting change, rather than introduce temporary fixes. Offering a service is excellent, but helping to educate people so that that service will no longer be required is even better, and more sustainable. Start thinking like this, and you’re well on your way to becoming an effective philanthropist.

3. Do you need a degree to be a philanthropist?

No, you do not need a degree in order to dedicate your life to doing good in the world.

4. How do I become a philanthropist with no money?

Having substantial financial resource helps when becoming a philanthropist. However, regular giving on a smaller scale still makes a huge impact over time. With a CAF Charity Account, you can do just that. In fact, in 2021, people with a CAF Charity Account gave a combined £142 million to charitable causes.

You can also become a philanthropist by volunteering your time and skills.

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Further resources 

What is a philanthropist?

Philanthropists donate time, experience, funds or skills to causes that benefit society.

What is philanthropy and why is it important?

Philanthropy can take many forms. Discover the important role it plays in our society.

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