Adam Gant is a committed philanthropist

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Understanding Finances For A Non Profit

Running a nonprofit comes with more complications than a standard business, especially on the financial side. For one thing, all nonprofit organizations must deal with increased oversight.

There are certain ways that the finances for a nonprofit must be handled, from creating a plan to comparing results against a budget and everything in between. The whole process may feel like a headache at times, but overall it is a worthwhile endeavor that will ultimately result in success.

Additional Challenges

There are additional challenges that come with managing the finances for a nonprofit organization. There are the above concerns (oversight, tracking, etc.), but there are concerns such as taxes, paperwork, transparency, donor involvement, and expectations. Not to mention dealing with the public trust.

Financial Policies

Nonprofit organizations have a board of directors, and in turn, they have a fiduciary duty to ensure how the money is used within the organization. That is to say; they have to ensure that the promises made by the organization are kept.

One way that a board of directors will ensure this is by creating one (or several) policies. These policies will create a rule and description for how the money is handled, invested, or distributed.

An example of a nonprofit financial policy would be a conflict of interest policy. A conflict of interest policy protects the nonprofit in a variety of ways. For one, it would require those with a conflict of interest to take a step back or otherwise disclose the conflict. In turn, this protects the nonprofit from penalties while hoarding the board accountable.

The Council of Nonprofits has a list of possible financial policies for nonprofits, including gift acceptance policies, best practices for reimbursement, annual review of executive compensation, nonprofit Fiscal policies and procedures, and more.

Tools and Resources

When looking for tools and resources for a nonprofit, the National Council of Nonprofits is one of the first tools to approach. On top of making documents readily available, they actively work to keep up-to-date information for all nonprofit organizations.

Another available resource is the Financial Management Associates Insitute. Through them, nonprofits can find financial management courses—everything from excel basics to full accounting classes.

The Basics

Every nonprofit organization will need to have a plan for the basic parts of their financial planning. They will need a bookkeeping solution (one that is friendly to nonprofits and easily accessed for audits). On that note, they will also need to find the right accounting software or plan and work out the funding for it. Once that is established, immediately begin tracking all donations that come through. This may require some level of customization.

If the nonprofit doesn’t have a bank account, now is the time to get one. Once that is done, get bank reconciliations going. Finally, any nonprofit will need to learn how to create (and analyze) financial statements and reports.

The Vital Role Of Volunteerism In Philanthropy Adam Gant

The Vital Role Of Volunteerism In Philanthropy

Fundraising, for most charities, is a never-ending task. There is always more to be done than most charities have either the finances or resources to do. When resources are already stretched thin just trying to accomplish the primary mission of the charity, it can be easy to see why so many charities are reluctant to dedicate additional resources to recruiting, managing, supervising, or even training volunteers. This can, at times, seem like a tremendous waste of meager and precious resources for a charity.


For these reasons, most charities prefer to simply cultivate donors that will give money rather than volunteers who only give of their time. While understandable, however, this line of thinking may actually do a charity far more harm than good. The truth is, volunteers are not only every bit as valuable as donors but may in fact be even more so. In fact, in many cases, your best volunteers may also become your best donors.


Mother Teresa may have built one of the most successful and longest-lasting charities in the 20th century. One of the many ways in which she accomplished this work was by cultivating a long string of wealthy benefactors. Rather than simply taking their money, however, Mother Teresa was well known for encouraging them to “come and see.” She didn’t just simply want donors to give money, she wanted them to come and see the need for the charity.


Seeing a picture of a starving child, a storm-ravaged area, or an abused animal can certainly have an impact, but it is no match for personal interaction. A person may simply walk away from a picture and forget its very existence within a few minutes. Actually picking up a starving child and feeling the fragility of their bones and the shocking lightness of their frame, however, is an experience that may stick with someone for a lifetime. No matter how challenging it may be, the more exposure you give potential donors to the realities of the work you are doing and the very real need for it, the more likely you are to find all of your most valuable programs fully funded as soon as the need arises. The more your potential donors are able to see the need first-hand and with their own eyes, the more likely they are to help ensure you have all the resources you need to alleviate the problem.

What Does It Mean To Be A Philanthropreneur Adam Gant

What Does It Mean to Be a Philanthropreneur?

Every year, thousands of starry-eyed college students graduate into the real world wanting to make a dent in the universe. Many of these young kids look around and see huge problems with the world — racial inequality, gender-based inequity, poverty, hunger, unnecessary wars — you name it, the world is a complex, troubled place with more problems than one could possibly count. And young people want to fix these problems.


The difficulty with wanting to fix these issues is that many millennials are realizing that the old philanthropy model is not as effective as it once was. According to some millennials, most philanthropists claim that they want to do good, but when push comes to shove, most charitable organizations only allocate a small percentage of their annual profits to philanthropic efforts.


This is why some forward-thinking “idea people” are calling for a revision of the philanthropic mode of doing business. These innovative individuals have called themselves philanthropreneurs.


Making Philanthropy a Part of The Business Model

Remember when TOMS Shoes made waves a decade ago for donating a pair of shoes for every shoe sold? This, according to philanthropreneurs, is how philanthropic organizations can make a difference in the future.

Instead of making a bland promise about donating 4% of profits or claiming that you’ll collaborate with a charitable organization, why not truly make social change central to the mission of your business and help lead the crusade when it comes to fixing the part of the world you want fixed? Philanthropreneurs focus on the change, instead of the profit in their business model.

Brands that are building their business directly around philanthropy include companies like Roma Boots, Smile Squared, and Out of Print Clothing. Like TOMS, Roma Boots donates a pair of children’s boots for every pair of boots they sell. Smile Squared sends kids with terminal illnesses on dream vacations, and Out of Print Clothing is working to create literacy programs for children who are struggling to learn how to read.

The goal of a philanthropreneur is to design their business in a way that the impact a business can have on a society is truly exponential. Expert entrepreneur Marc Angelo asks aspiring philanthropreneurs to design their companies so that the effect they can have on the world is completely sustainable, even if the company itself breaks apart.


After all, isn’t philanthropy bigger than just you? Isn’t it about recognizing the world’s problems, and then doing whatever you can to solve them? This is the mission of the philanthropreneur.

Tips For Determining How Much To Donate To Charity Adam Gant

Tips for Determining How Much to Donate to Charity

Many charities survive because people donate money, supplies, and other necessities to them. They rely on the generosity of others so that they can help people in need. You may wonder how much money you should donate to charities; look no further than the following tips to help you find an appropriate amount to donate and support a cause that you care about.


Look at Their Donation Information

Go through the donation information for the charity and see what options they provide. Do they ask for an amount or do they let you decide your own price? If they have preset amounts, you can pick one that works for your budget and then aim to donate that to them. This will help you support them while remaining smart with your money.


Research the Charity

Spend some time looking at charities and do the proper research. You should make sure that you have found a legitimate charity before you donate to it. You don’t want to send them money and then find out that they scammed you. Do some proper research so that you can donate your money to a trustworthy cause that actually wants to help people.


Maintain Financial Stability

You should always donate an amount that you can afford. Above all else, you should maintain your financial stability so that you can avoid unnecessary stress and problems. Generous gifts are certainly appreciated, but don’t donate more than you can afford. This will keep you financially secure as you support a charity.


Pick an Amount and Frequency

After you figure out how much you should donate, you should also figure out how often you will donate. Will you donate a large amount once a year or small amounts throughout the year? Figure out how much and how often you will give this charity a donation.


You may want to donate to a charity, but make sure that you donate the right amount based on your situation. You may want to support a specific charity, but you should avoid putting yourself in a financially dangerous situation. Continue to find ways to help charities by volunteering if you can’t afford to donate.


Organizing a Holiday Food Drive

As Thanksgiving and Christmas approach, food pantries and food banks across the U.S. assist millions of families in obtaining holiday meals. There are many families in need, so hosting a drive for food at your school, office, church, or other organization can be a wonderful way to aid in keeping shelves stocked. This also raises awareness about any hunger that exists in the community. Before asking people to raid their cupboards and local grocery stores, keep these things in mind.


Start by Making Contact

Email or call the local food bank in advance of the holidays so that its rules and accepted food types can be learned. Often, food banks will have a member of the staff who is trained to help make volunteer food drives successful. They might be able to provide collection boxes, posters that display pertinent information, and sample emails that offer gratitude. Also, not all food pantries and banks can accept donations during the holidays. The increase in people seeking help, as well as the influx of well-meaning volunteers wishing to help share holiday cheer, add up to a very busy time.

Involve Kin and Kith

When one starts a holiday food drive, one can serve as an inspiration for others to involve themselves in the war against hunger. Even a simple collection of donations at a holiday get-together can make a difference. First, of course, ask the food bank what is needed, provide that list to the guests, and then experience the fulfillment of helping those in need with what they need. Another route is to ask one’s employer to assist with sponsoring a food drive. Perhaps an incentive such as a raffle prize or day for dressing casually can be offered for those who participate.

Go Virtual

Instead of collecting physical foodstuffs, consider a fundraising drive. This is a wonderful alternative to the traditional drive to fill food pantries. The money raised still goes to food, but it allows donated dollars to be transformed into more meals because groceries can be purchased at reduced prices. Banks can then choose the foods that best meet the needs of people using their services. Consider also carrying on the generosity of the season well past its end. 


What To Expect When Volunteering At An Animal Shelter Adam Gant

What to Expect When Volunteering at an Animal Shelter

Volunteering at an animal shelter is one of the best things that a person can do. Providing love, care, and comfort for animals in need benefits all involved. Animals give unconditional love and adoration to their humans, and being able to repay them for these gifts is the least that we can do. By knowing beforehand what to expect when volunteering at an animal shelter, potential volunteers can make the most of their experience and be of service in the best way possible for the shelter animals. Here are some things to keep in mind.


Volunteer Placements

There are many different roles for volunteers to fill at an animal shelter. People might help by socializing kittens, walking dogs, cleaning stalls, filling envelopes, answering phones, working off-site at adoption events, transporting animals to the vet, fundraising, being a foster parent, running social media accounts, and so much more. It is important to choose a position that you are both good at and that you enjoy, as that will increase your commitment to the animals. With so many volunteer options available, there is a way for everyone to help.


Training Events

Animal shelters generally require volunteers to attend training events for the volunteer position that they will be filling. For example, if you will be taking care of neonatal kittens, it is vital to receive the proper training in caring for these newborns. If you are working at adoption events, it is essential that you know the animal shelter’s policies for prospective adoptive families. Not only does training benefit the human volunteer and give guidance for proper care and best practices, but it protects the animals and ensures that they are treated humanely and compassionately. Training guarantees that everyone is on the same page with regard to the shelter and its animals.


Time Commitment

Animals are sentient beings, and they benefit from a continuity of care from the same people. For this reason, almost all animal shelters require that volunteers make a specific time commitment to fulfill their volunteering duties. Some shelters require that volunteers serve a minimum number of days per week, whereas some shelters expect a certain number of hours. All shelters will ask for a six month to one year commitment. Remember: it’s for the benefit of the animals!

How To Help Local Schools Adam Gant

How to Help Local Schools: Donating Supplies and More

With back-to-school season in full-swing, many parents are focused on getting their children ready by shopping for clothes and supplies. The sad fact is that not all families can afford basic school necessities. This can then place pressure on schools—or teachers, more specifically—which already lack funding. To this end, community members can help by donating supplies to their local schools. Below are other ways you can help schools in your area.


Raise Funds

Donating supplies is one way to help local schools, but it’s sometimes difficult to know what is needed the most. This is where cash donations can help. Fundraising not only helps schools get the supplies their students need, but the money can also help schools buy computers, tablets, furniture, playground equipment, and more. Local businesses are also likely to want to participate, so it’s worth asking as many entities for help as possible.


Help Out in the Classroom

In some cases, time can be as valuable an asset as money for local schools. Contact teachers or school boards and ask if they’re in need of volunteers. Some possible volunteer opportunities include reading groups, math tutoring, getting paperwork together, and organizing student materials. There are other ways to volunteer at schools outside of the actual classroom as well, including providing help in the library, cafeteria, and car/bus lines to make sure students stay safe.


Connect With Key Members

It can be overwhelming to think about how you can help out local schools. One way to break through the confusion is to simply ask what schools need by contacting them directly. Family members with children enrolled in a school can even tell teachers what they need most, whether it’s supplies, volunteer time, or administrative tasks. Another way to keep in the loop is to attend monthly school board meetings or PTA/PTO gatherings to get an idea of what community schools need most.


Consider Helping A Local Charity

Some students need help with other aspects of getting ready for school, including tutoring and mentoring. Consider calling around to local charities, such as Big Brother/Big Sister groups, the YMCA, and others who help underprivileged children with homework, sports, and mentoring. What happens outside of school hours can impact a child’s success in school.


Regardless of your financial status or your availability, there are ways you can help out the schools in your area. Start by researching organizations in your area that provide services or materials to schools or school children, and also make an effort to contact local schools to see how you can help.

How To Budget For Charitable Giving Adam Gant

How to Budget for Charitable Giving

Cumulatively, billions of dollars each year flow from citizens to the charities they care about. Giving can be easy for those who have plenty of money. For those who have less spare change available, it can be a challenge. Regardless, everyone should give something back. Here are some ways to budget for charitable giving.


Decide Where the Money Should Go

Those who are looking to give to charity should first choose where the money is going to go. It’s a good idea for people to prioritize giving to organizations that have missions that truly resonate with them and their personal values. Otherwise, there will not be as much incentive to give on a monthly or annual basis.


Make Payments Automatic

Popular personal finance writers Ramit Sethi and David Bach argue that saving should be automatic. Otherwise, there will be nothing left at the end of the month to save. Likewise, those who are looking to give to charities should make their donations automatic. This means listing them as a line item in a monthly budget. Charities that make monthly draws from a checking account or a credit card can make the process quite easy. Those who give only what’s left at the end of the month will likely have nothing left to give.


Give Time

Providing for the needs of charitable organizations does not necessarily have to involve money. While all organizations need money to operate, there are other ways to give back. The most common of these options is giving time. Spending some time working toward the mission of a charitable organization can be a great way to help out even when finances are tight. It costs nothing monetarily, but giving time and effort can really help a charity achieve its goals.


Gift Appreciated Assets

Those who have quite a bit of wealth usually have it because they legally minimize the amount they pay to the CRA each year. One way to help out a charitable organization is through a gift of appreciated assets. Most commonly, this would involve a gift of a company’s stock. Those who sell stock for a profit can owe some hefty capital gains taxes. By giving stock to a charitable organization, the original owner will avoid some taxes, and the charity can benefit from a higher cost basis. These gifts will frequently provide some nice cash flow to charities through regular dividend payments.


Budgeting for charitable giving is important. Those who have little monetary wealth can benefit from giving back, and those who are wealthy can benefit from giving back while simultaneously cutting their taxes. Charitable organizations rely on gifts, and planned giving on the part of donors can allow them to plan for the future.

Foods To Donate Adam Gant (1)

Foods to Donate in Bulk This Summer

Nutritionists recommend that people eat a variety of fruits, vegetables, grains, proteins, dairy products and healthy oils or fats on a daily basis. For over 42 million Americans, putting food on the table is a struggle. They do not have the means to provide for the nutritional needs of their families.

Over 13 million children go hungry on a daily basis. As summer vacation begins, the hunger crisis becomes a more prevalent problem. Students who have been getting meals at school will now be home all day without appropriate food to eat.

Approximately 10 million elderly adults in America also experience daily hunger. The senior citizen population often hide their struggle with food. They have a tendency to use what they have to benefit other people.

Government programs only marginally help those who need food assistance. Some struggling Americans do not qualify for the assistance that is offered. As a result, more people are turning to food banks for help.

Most food banks rely on volunteers and donations to provide for people in need. As summer starts, donations begin to dwindle. With fewer contributions, food banks become limited on how much help they can provide. Bulk donations of non-perishable food items can help sustain a program’s food supply and keep them in business.

Here are some suggestions for items that can be donated in bulk.


  • Canned Meats
  • Canned Fish
  • Peanut Butter/Other Nut Butters
  • Dried or Canned Beans/Legumes


  • Rice
  • Pasta
  • Quinoa
  • Oatmeal
  • Whole Grain Cereal


  • Dry Milk
  • Canned Milk
  • Shelf-stable Cheese Products
  • Boxed Milk


  • Canned Vegetables
  • Canned Fruits
  • Raisins/Dried Fruits

Miscellaneous Items:

  • Spices
  • Vegetable, Beef, or Chicken Stock
  • Pasta Sauces
  • Gravy or Seasoning Mixes
  • Tea, Coffee or Drink Mixes

Hunger doesn’t stop for summer. Bulk donations to food banks can help provide nutritious meals for families in need all summer long.

Great Ways To Help A New Neighbor Adam Gant

Great Ways to Help a New Neighbor

Whenever a new neighbor moves in, it can be a particularly tough time for them as they try to settle and cope with the new environment. As a responsible neighbor, you may take it upon yourself to facilitate their comfort by doing them a few favors. There are many ways you can help ease their transition. Below are a few options to consider.


Help with heavy cleaning duties

Cleaning the house and property for the first time after moving in is a daunting task. If the neighbor has opted to do it themselves rather than hiring professional cleaners, you may offer to lend them a hand and help them with demanding tasks such as cleaning the house, clearing the compound, and arranging items in the house. Offering such help is one of many good neighborhood practices and will grant you an opportunity to get to know your neighbors better.


Sharing crucial information

As the neighbor settles down in a new area, the first few weeks can be tough for them. You may take this opportunity to provide them with some information as relates to the area, such as where to find law enforcement services, entertainment, schools, convenience stores, and other basic and utility services. Additional tips such as the general security of the area are crucial in ensuring that the neighbor settles down as seamlessly as possible. This tactic is especially useful if you have lived in the area for some time. Consider the resources you regularly use and share their locations with your new neighbors; doing so will help them feel more welcome and infomed.


Giving them a ride

In case you drive and your neighbor doesn’t, you may extend the courtesy of asking them if they are going in the same direction as you are. This favor may come in handy when helping a neighbor who travels in the area often. You may also want to extend some favors such as asking the neighbor if they need anything from the stores or supermarkets before you head back home. Minimizing the need for separate trips can help your neighbor trust you more and limit your carbon footprint.


Practice accountability

You should always endeavor to practice accountability policing over their property and family. For instance, if the neighbor’s children come back from school and find the house locked, you may have to take them in as you wait for the neighbor’s arrival. In addition, you should endeavor to watch over the neighbor’s property and ward off any would-be intruders. Practicing such acts of good neighborhood helps make your neighbor feel loved while promoting peaceful coexistence. This aspect of being a good neighbor goes beyond common courtesy; you should make your neighbor feel that you are trustworthy and reliable, thereby making them feel safe.


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