Jimmy Lustig is an active philanthropist. He and his wife created the Lustig Family Foundation.

Month: February 2019

Jimmy Lustig Build Philanthropy Into Budget

How to Build Philanthropy into your Budget

Incorporating philanthropy into your business plan is one of the most effective ways to make a difference. It allows you to put more money and muscle behind your efforts. However, it can also cause some companies, especially smaller ones, to struggle financially. Most companies don’t have the resources of Google, which gives 1 percent of the company’s total equity and profits to charity, but every company can make an impact. While it’s not recommended to bankrupt yourself to incorporate a corporate social responsibility initiative, there are ways to make philanthropy work for your budget. Here are three ways to make philanthropy more cost-effective for your organization.


Don’t reinvent the wheel

Throwing money at different causes isn’t the most effective approach to philanthropy. The best way is to incorporate social responsibility into your business model organically. Look at what your organization already does well and determine how philanthropy fits in with those strengths. It isn’t a requirement that you think outside of the box to have a social impact. Often, what you already do well is what you can do for others. For example, TOMS philanthropy is tied directly to their business offering. For every pair of shoes purchased, a pair is given to a child in need.


Join forces for a broader reach

When working alone in philanthropy, your impact is limited to your own expertise and resources. If you want to have a more significant impact, it’s necessary to partner with other organizations. Look for relationships that are mutually beneficial and will result in long-term results. Collaboration helps to expand the mission of your organization and lessen the financial and operational load for smaller businesses.


Get your hands dirty

You may be tempted to outsource your community involvement work, but a hands-off approach means that your employees have little opportunity to be involved with the project. Hands-on involvement with philanthropy will help your employees to feel connected to your mission. This doesn’t mean you need to send your employees across the world to see the impact of their work. Work on initiatives either taking place in your local community or even inside of your office. You can start a green initiative to reduce waste and save on energy consumption within the workplace. These types of efforts help your employees to feel a sense of ownership over the corporate philanthropy and allow them to see the direct impact.

Jimmy Lustig Philanthropy Secret Weapon

How to Find your Philanthropy Secret Weapon

The point of being involved with philanthropy is the hope to make long-term changes in an area of need. To be able to achieve this, philanthropists need to create a space where they can pause their routine, take a step back and look at the bigger picture. Taking a step back allows you to reflect and think on how you can improve your philanthropy. What this “secret weapon” looks like varies from philanthropist, but here are three places to start to find yours.


What do you read?

There is a plethora of information available out there that can help inform your work. In fact, there’s almost too much information. Don’t let information overload get to you. Instead of subscribing to every newsletter about philanthropy leadership or the specific cause you’re interested in, choose a select few and set aside time each week to really go through them. Take in the information they have to offer instead of just skimming over it. Another way to approach this is to think if what specific issues you’re currently dealing with in your organization and seek out information to help solve those issues. If you’re trying to address a foundation-wide issue, then have your staff set aside time during their work day to read the selected materials as well. Don’t expect them to use their personal time to do so.


Where can you build camaraderie?

In the effort to get everything done that you need to, you may not prioritize attending conferences and speaking with others working towards the same mission as you. It’s easy to push them aside to accomplish more pressing tasks. However, getting outside of your office and meeting up with others face-to-face is necessary and will help you find a new perspective when addressing your issues with philanthropy. It enables you to learn what your peers do to manage the same challenges you face and can help you build a support system. Even if you serve in different roles, you’ll be able to make connections with the people you meet at these events that will help open your eyes to your organization.


Whom do you confide in?

Having someone you can discuss difficult decisions with is necessary, especially in the world of philanthropy. Having someone who is an expert in the field can you give you an objective, third-party view and help you to make sure you’re doing the right thing. Finding an adviser that you trust will help you to get out of your own head. There will always be certain issues that you’re not able to talk about with other board members or staff, so having someone to turn to will help save you from experiencing frustration and burnout. This adviser may be a professional or life coach that you hire, or it may be a connection you’ve made by attending conferences. As long as it is someone dedicated to helping you and removed from your organization, they can be a valuable source.

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