December 21, 2011

Day 28: Get specific: Articulate exactly what you want your philanthropy to accomplish. #30DayDonorChallenge #GiveSmart


By: The Bridgespan Group

Hands holding a seedlingWhen asked “what are you trying to accomplish?” do you respond with broad, hopeful statements (like “curing cancer,” or “ending poverty,” or “stopping global warming”)? If so, you’ll need to get more specific because at that level, your goals are still too undefined (and therefore unattainable).

Don’t assume that a $10 million gift over five years, for example, will single-handedly transform an inner-city school district with an $800 million annual budget. This is one of the many “traps” that even the most capable and experienced philanthropists can fall into.

For an overview of common traps, check out our FAQ What Are the Five Most Common Traps I Should Avoid in My Philanthropy?


Creative Commons License logo
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License. Permissions beyond the scope of this license are available in our Terms and Conditions.