Making Philanthropy Not Suck

A few weeks ago I tweeted how I make giving not suck:

Advice #1 for personal giving: Narrow focus to just one cause that touches you most emotionally. Say no to everything else.

— Michael Girdley (@mgirdley) March 31, 2017

To restate this concept, the idea is to limit any donations of time or money to one cause only. It’s narrowly defined and you maximize your chance to make an impact.

I used to feel guilty when I was asked to donate time or money to a worthy cause. So, I’d write little checks here or there. But, I felt like I was never making a difference.

I asked, “What do I really care about the most?” I realized it was upgrading my hometown into a startup community. I believe that the best way to do accomplish that is to help startups emerge on Houston St downtown.

That’s it. I don’t give to anything else. I just say “no” now to any other cause.

One bonus: this approach makes saying “no” easier as well. I explain people what my approach is and how their cause doesn’t fit.

Michael Girdley