Philanthropy is on my mind for a few reasons lately. For one, I just got back from our annual strategic retreat for the UNLV Alumni Association. Also, I was the Honorary Chair of our annual leadership auction for the MGM Foundation this year, which just happened this week. Lastly, we attended the Power of Love gala for the Lou Ruvo Brain Center last week, one of the biggest charitable events of the year.
I always think the key to philanthropy is passion. Like I always say you should try to work in a job/profession/field that you are passionate about (but knowing it isn’t always that easy), it is even more important to align yourself with charitable causes that you have a strong association with and can rally yourself and others around. This is largely because it is voluntary, so requires much more self-discipline than work.
I get jazzed by the notion that I and others with similar interests can accomplish more together than alone, and we can do it for those who most have written off or don’t think can be helped. Even at UNLV, my alma mater, I always feel like we are the underdogs so I want to try to make a difference in the lives of alumni and students.
For me, there are a couple of ways of participating that particularly inspire me to be philanthropic. For you it may be different; but if you know what it is for you, then you should focus your energy on causes that hit those marks, because you will bring much more to the table. I find that I am inspired by my friends, such that if they are involved with something I will want to help them out. And if there are events involved that my friends can come to, I will work my butt off to make a great event. Speaking of events, I really enjoy organizing and “producing” events, versus other ways of contributing. I find pride and pleasure in seeing the outcome, and I really enjoy the process of working with others to make an event come to life.
Philanthropy doesn’t just mean giving money. Most of you know that, but also worry about trying to give time, since we all seem to have none of that either. But you can contribute no matter what – your ideas, your moral support, your participation in events (like fun runs, etc.); these are all so meaningful to not-for-profits.
My request to all of us would be to just “give’ a little more than we do now, and if we all do that we can make a huge difference.