Community & Government

Forms of Philanthropic Giving

Melinda French Gates

Lesson time 12:08 min

Understand the different forms of philanthropic giving and discover where you may want your own giving to fit in.

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Topics include: Local vs. Global Giving• Trust-Based vs. Strategic Giving• Direct Aid vs. Organizational Giving• The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation Philosophy• Venture Investing• Political Giving• Develop Your Giving Philosophy• Melinda's Questions to Form Your Personal Giving Philosophy


[MUSIC PLAYING] MELINDA GATES: So when it comes to giving money, there's really just no one way to give at all. Because most organizations deal largely with financial giving, in this chapter, I want to talk to you about the various philosophies that drive the philanthropic giving landscape-- in other words, monetary giving. Still, it's important to remember that not all giving is financial. I hope that you'll walk away from this chapter able to apply the philosophies you hear about to any type of giving. And even if you're not in a place to give financially, understanding these models will make you a more informed giver. [MUSIC PLAYING] So when you enter the space of philanthropy, you'll probably notice that there are lots of different organizations out there. And they have different approaches in terms of how they carry out their work. So one might be a global organization, like Save the Children. Or you might choose to give your money to a more local organization, where what they're doing in the local community is maybe they are working on something for the homeless. So you can look at different organizations by what do they do and how do they go by doing it. Do you want to give to a local organization? Do you want to give an organization that does something at scale across the United States? Do you want to give to an organization that's global? Those are all different types of giving. And there are organizations who do that in all different kinds of ways. So I think sometimes starting in your community, when you're first getting started, maybe is the easiest place to start. Because it's in your own backyard. It's easier to talk to people you know. They connect you with somebody who lives across town, who, let's say is working on homelessness. And maybe that person suggests you go work in the food bank at first. And so you get some hands on experience of oh, okay, what is this population that's coming into the food bank? Why are they homeless? And you start to talk to the partner organizations or the people in that organization about what are you seeing in homelessness. Why is there more of a need for food this time of year or this year, compared to last? It's a great way to learn and, I think, to build up your confidence in giving. You start to learn about where the needs are at a deeper level. But then I think if you're going to do international giving, going initially with some very trusted organizations. It's extraordinarily hard to, I think, sit in your home or sit in your office if you live, say, in New York or in Seattle or DC, and completely imagine what is life like for someone who lives in a rural part of Kenya. But we know their needs there. Wow, there are organizations who must have worked on that. I should learn about them and trust them that they know what they're doing in those populations. [MUSIC PLAYING] There are so many different blueprints for giving. I reall...

About the Instructor

One of the greatest philanthropists in history, Melinda French Gates has dedicated her life to giving back to the world. Now she’s teaching how you can identify your own unique assets—time, money, specific skills, or even your voice to discover a strategic path that can turn your power into progress.

Featured Masterclass Instructor

Melinda French Gates

A philanthropist and advocate for women and girls, Melinda French Gates teaches you how to take what you’re good at and use it to create change.

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