Real philanthropy

So I read this awesome article the other day about Jon Huntsman. I don't know much about him, but his message was AWESOME.

“Through the compound impact of altruism, I came to understand that people are doing philanthropy wrong. People generally think about charitable work the wrong way. They think that when they’re older and comfortable they’ll give some amount of money to something but that’s not the way to do it. The way to do it is to get involved as early on as possible because, even if it’s just volunteer work or $5, the impact you’ll have over your lifetime is far greater than anything you could possibly do if you wait until you think you’re comfortable. You’ll never really feel you’re comfortable enough to give away your money but if you start now and start doing some volunteer work, donating a little bit here and there, over the next 40 years you’ll have a huge amount of impact and you’ll feel great about yourself.”-Biz Stone

This article has made me considered my own philanthropy. Do we have enough to give more? Yeah we probably do. So I started to think of ways to give that could actually make a difference.

This reminded me of a micro finance company, I did I trial account with probably over a year ago, KIVA. If you don't know much about micro finance, ITS AWESOME (click here to learn more). It allows those people in poorer circumstances, often in developing countries to take out a small loan to go towards building their business.

As they make the money back you get small payments as the investor. 97% of micro finance loans are paid back in full too. So really its a low risk investment. Its almost like you are buying a CD from the government except instead of accruing a tiny bit of interest, its helping someone make a living. Once you earn that money back you can re-invest it in another loan or you can withdraw it.

Basically you give a certain amount of money and choose someone among their many lists of people looking for an investment. Everyone has bios that explain their life, what they will be putting the money towards, etc. I like to choose women entrepreneurs whose goal is to either go to school themselves or send their children to school.

I think this will be something I will need to revisit at every phase of my life. Am I giving enough, can I  give more, am I giving to causes or organizations that can are actually making a difference (surprise surprise all charities are not created equal). I think giving creates a ripple. If we all can give just a little of ourselves and a little of our income we will be happier and that spreads.


  1. love huntsman! thanks for sharing!


    1. Emi, I just read your travel tips page, and saw that you went to China on a Groupon. I always see the group on getaways and am always skeptical, because they seem like incredible deals! Do you have contact info so I can ask you some questions about it? I couldn't find your contact info on your blog.