Imagine if you had so much money, that you could write a check in any amount, for any cause you wished to donate to. We call them Philanthropists. Unfortunately, most of us don’t ever make it to the top of the wealth ladder. Unless you’re born to privilege, we start somewhere at the bottom with our first job, where we make an hourly wage, or in some cases, we work for free in a non-paid internship (or if you’re lucky, an internship with a small stipend). Most of us aspire to make that big salary, or better yet, the salary + commissions or bonuses. Some of us make the leap to become entrepreneurial; and if we’re successful, we become owners; and from there you can elevate to becoming an investor. But, it’s only when we’ve hit it big, that few of us ever become Philanthropists. If you speak with anyone who is a Philanthropist, they will tell you what delight they get in giving. The truth is, giving can be one of the most rewarding experiences in life, and it doesn’t have to happen exclusively at the very top. It can start at any stage.
We’re not talking about giving out of obligation because you are expected or mandated to give. True giving brings a smile to your face. It brings tears, laughter, and fulfillment. Giving out of a moral duty, guilt, or sacrifice is really not giving at all—it’s more like paying taxes. Our research indicates that depending on your temperament, giving can be immensely satisfying if you give to that which resonates with who you are. It will fuel your heart, and it will cause you to want to give for the long haul. This kind of giving creates a win for everyone.
Artisans feel best when their gift goes to something that’s innovative, edgy, and audacious. The impact has to have both style and substance; it has to be creative and outside the norm, and it has to be bold and daring. Giving to what everyone else gives to has no appeal. Artisans don’t just give because there is a need. They want their money to be associated with something that stands out. They give to organizations that are doing something different.
Guardians feel best when their gift goes to an organization that has credibility. They entrust their money with those who have a track record, where processes are run efficiently and smoothly. This ensures that most of what they give ends up in the hands of the beneficiaries. They want substance, and distrust style. They feel more comfortable with charities that have been well established, and are conservative. They want to give knowing that nothing is wasted.
Idealists feel best when their gifts go to those who are hurting most. Where there is war, they hope to bring about peace. Where there is hatred, they want to provide love. Where there are wounds, they want to see healing. Idealists are inclined to give when they feel a tug on their hearts. They want to be moved to give. When they see tears of sadness, they want to shed tears of empathy, and tears of joy in knowing that their gift is reaching someone’s heart.
Rationals feel best when their gifts go to sustainable solutions. They are not inclined to give to the newest or the coolest. They often see well-established organizations as enabling beneficiaries, rather than empowering them. They are not moved by emotional appeals. They want to give to smart organizations that are tackling problems that no one else is attempting to solve. They give when they know that smart people will utilize their gift strategically.
Depending on your temperament, your potential demise is a predictable path. We would recommend, therefore, that you understand these destructive paths, in order to avoid the pitfall of bankruptcy from ever happening in your life.
“What is the best investment you can make in someone?” Depending on the temperament of those you are investing in, you may want to consider what kind of investment goes the furthest. When you invest wisely in someone, there are different responses and different returns based on their temperament.