A Tech Millionaire’s Guide To Philanthropy
I still insist that we don’t talk enough about money in our community. I mean really talk — publicly, openly, emotionally. Philanthropy (which I’ll define as actively supporting my values with dollars) has become an increasingly important part of my own goals. If you’re in a position to give meaningfully and consistently, maybe my journey will resonate for you. And I should note that what follows represents my POV/approach, some of which is shared by my wife but she also has her own style and I greatly respect that energy.
Four Things To Consider When Donating $10k, $50k, $100k+ Each Year
- Use a Donor Advised Fund (DAF)
A DAF is a financial instrument where you can park cash, stock, and a host of other investments. You take the tax deduction when you put the asset into the DAF, and then give it away over time, letting it appreciate (hopefully) prior to distribution. It’s a really great tool to help manage appreciated private stock and offset large gains while not having to commit the donated wealth to any one particular 501c3 right away. We try to do all nonprofit giving >$1,000 from ours as well as many of our reoccurring donations.
2. Develop a Framework (or Budget)
Be intentional and consistent. Some folks set a budget — max or min they want to give away each year. I’ve never taken to that strategy, instead focusing on a three-bucket framework:
>> Support: The broadest bucket. If I see a great organization or effort, I donate $50–$250. If a friend who has skin in the game is asking me to donate to an effort they’re spearheading, $50–$250. If I read a news article that gets me mad and I can identify an organization working to solve the problem or opposed the assholes, $50-$250.
>> Support and Amplify: Basically the above but I’ll also put a limited amount of social proof against it. Whether that means via social media amplification, contacting a few friends who might also be interested or allowing the organizers to use my support in their own outreach to others (rare, but in some circles it helps to see people you know also donated). I do…