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The #PHILANTHROPIST 3: Socializing

It’s time to move onward again. I find it hard. I don’t know how you feel, but each of the GIVES feels so real, that moving on feels hard.

One reason is, that each of the GIVEs is a real person. Real donors, real people, like you, like me – real giving. Number 3 used to be tough for me. I first got acquainted with it (surprisingly?!) in Moscow, Russia, in my office at the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee. In 1995, one of my coordinators of work with the local community came up with the idea to put together a cultural club for Russian Jewish businessmen: do social lunches – there in Moscow, in 1995 – and “talk” them into contributing to the local community.

The idea – that local Soviet-bred businessmen, who knew almost nothing about charity, would contribute through Socializing – sounded to me so strange… and to be honest, I did not think it would work. To give credit to Lena, who initiated this concept 20 years ago, her idea still operates and is successful in Moscow, and is extremely successful all over the world.

Donors all over the world respond to Socializing. You can look at this GIVE rationale from various angles. Here is something I would like again to contribute to your thinking. Think about teamwork. Mmmmmm – we love doing things together. It does something to us. We love being together, we love being with people we love being with. The ego within us makes us do (among other things) some great deeds. The power of socializing is not necessarily sleazy, especially if it makes us do some marvelous things as a result…

Having the privilege to watch major donors closely, enabled me understand the piece of the puzzle called Socializing as a GIVE. I now understand that people who give for this reason seek networking through the social element, which is something we all live and breathe, day in and day out. Think of Facebook and the role it plays in our lives, and you will better understand Socializing as a GIVE. We all really want it and need the socializing as part of “being”, even in philanthropy.

Lastly, which is where I am going to end this blog with 15 more GIVEs to go (WOW!!!)…

I doubt if any of us gives because of one GIVE only. I think we have a complex mix of GIVEs within us. We keep working with it, and it can be portrayed in many, many ways. We pick up GIVEs all the time, and the factors change constantly. We will talk about this in future blogs. But meanwhile, think about these first three GIVEs. See how they feel for you, and keep looking for the next round of GIVEs in The #Philanthropist!

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