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Entrepreneurial Philanthropy (ΣPhilanthropy)

Pittsburgh real estate entrepreneur and #Philanthropist Jim Rudolph during Home Visit

Globally, as I have been covering in my posts, experiencing firsthand the unprecedented number of entrepreneurs, millionaires, billionaires and new startup-ists who dedicate resources to philanthropy has been a source of much excitement personally and professionally.

You may be among those who’ve been following this trend and have an opinion. You may be among the many who view this global phenomenon with questions about what motivates people who mostly seek a return on investment and ‘suddenly’ share their wealth seemingly as freebies.

There is certainly no shortage of explanations for why people from the business community (entrepreneurs) engage in philanthropy. I want to suggest one explanation, which fits my rich experience in engaging with such entrepreneurs.

Remember the term "exe-file" (Execution file)? It denotes a "file or a code that is used to perform various functions or operations on a computer."

I’ve had the opportunity to work with many exceptionally busy entrepreneurs in various countries. I never had any doubts about their motivation or originality in embracing philanthropy. They all created and innovated — and impacted — their chosen causes in numerous and genuine ways. But I don’t think this is what makes ΣPhilanthropy a worldwide phenomenon.

What elevates this phenomenon to such disproportional disruption is what I describe as a quantum effect generated by ΣPhilanthropy.

Through their ΣPhilanthropy, in some unexplained way, these disruptors — together with their causes and organizations — produce an “exe-code” for something bigger than anything these entrepreneurs experience in any other aspect of their LIFE.

I recently met an entrepreneur with whom I have worked extensively and globally. He recalled a certain time when he and another ΣPhilanthropist and I traveled on behalf of their cause. He described the emotions and the impact on both of them, and how it has lasted and perpetuated ever since — and beyond.

It would be hard for anyone — and yes, even for myself, who was there with them — to comprehend or convey the strong emotions he and his fellow real-estate entrepreneur and philanthropist describe.

While promoting themselves — and being measured — by their success in business, the ΣPhilanthropists find their ultimate passion for how they contribute their energies and money and not how they earned it. For them, this most fulfilling of enterprises is an intimate and sacred experience, with a high above and beyond the rush of any high-stakes deal or profitable exit.

Philanthropy is successful when entrepreneurs, together with the organizations and community they impact, create 'exe' code that brings them very close to realizing the deeper purpose. That which some call the meaning of life. Some ΣPhilanthropists I’ve worked with described it as bigger than anything they have ever done or felt. I never tried to question something which seems so very personal.

While we may not be able to put our finger on this meaning and express it in our own words, we realize that finding this ‘code’ is within us. And that is, to my mind, what ΣPhilanthopy entrepreneurs do and own.

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