Susan's Blog: The Philanthropy Formula

Over the last two decades, I started paying attention to evolving patterns I was hearing from the donors I worked with. To obtain the best results in building donor relationships and in helping donors clarify their philanthropic goals, I used what I learned to create a formula to guide my work. 

The Philanthropy Formula will help you to figure out your own passion, and will guide you to realize what you can do to support it.

C+C+A=C. Three simple steps.

Care about something + Commit to it + take Action around it = create positive Change in our world

Here’s a real example to show you how it works.

Last week I taught The Philanthropy Formula to a board of directors. After my presentation, a good friend of mine who was on the board was slated to make a brief presentation for an appeal he was leading. When it was Charlie's turn on the agenda he said that he was going to put aside his prepared remarks and use my formula to tell the board about the appeal for the Community Health Center (CHC).

Here’s his story:

"When I first heard about the CHC concept, I thought to myself “I wonder if there is a service like this for my family member in another city who really needs it?” When I found out that there was, and when she received services for health issues of great concern, I was relieved and so appreciative for its existence. Though our own hospital was just talking about the idea at the time, I had my own real experience with the benefit of this type of community health service. It really touched my heart to know my family member was now healthy. I Cared very deeply.

After the Center was built, I made a personal decision to help others access this life-saving service and I Committed to raising money for an endowment to ensure the CHC would always be around in our community for those in need. 

Then, I took Action by leading an appeal to downtown businesses in the community to ask for support of the CHC which would serve the workers and clerks who are underinsured or uninsured. I’m committing my own time, my own gift, and my energy to lead a team of people to raise money for this cause that is so important to me. I expect and intend to raise a large amount of money for the endowment to support this center. And, I’m committed to doing this annually; it’s just that important.”

So, what will be the positive Change in our world? People in our community will have access to high-quality primary care, dental and mental health services regardless of their ability to pay and regardless of the amount of health coverage they have. 

This cause matters deeply to Charlie. It really touched his heart and he decided to do something about it.

What a wonderful legacy!

Use The Philanthropy Formula to help your donors explore their connection to your organization's mission and programs. With the formula, you can help donors decide what they can actively do to support your work and help them feel great about the legacy they are creating through their gifts and actions.