Am I a philanthropist? You may be asking yourself that question when you think about what you have to give and your overall engagement strategy. Philanthropy at its essence is the love of humanity, but the word has come to be equated with significant wealth. It may feel aspirational, even unattainable to many people who are in search of greater involvement in their community and in the world at large. I often hear my clients say, “I am not a philanthropist” when indeed they are driven to make an investment in the common good. Perhaps, you are an impactivist.
Impactivism is doing good well. Impactivism is when you are motivated by your heart and know that your brain needs to weigh in. I have read that impactivism “sits at the intersection of rational compassion and effective action”. But impactivism isn’t just about doing something: It’s about doing the right something, about maximizing the effectiveness of your actions, taking a thoughtful approach to improving our world rather than just the thing that you think you “should” do. An action taken by an impactivist is one that is for the greater good and taken deliberately with purpose.
What motivates you? What are you good at? What issue resonates with you? And, with reflective thought and intention, how will you engage? Each of us as individuals can effectively impact positive shifts in circumstances in the world in the ways that we choose to show up and immerse. When your objective is to impact good and you develop an informed plan to execute, you are an impactivist.