Charity as the art of giving

What is worth considering for those who want to do charity work. Sometimes, neither the market nor the state is able to satisfy all the needs of society. The presence of such unmet needs is associated with the phenomenon of charity. It gives us the opportunity to change society for the better, to create a system where each participant – the individual, local authorities and the private sector – will have a role. From the experience of my family and my personal experience as a banker and as a person, I have repeatedly been convinced of the importance and usefulness of charity work both in Switzerland and in many other countries. I am sincerely convinced that our society will have no future if we suddenly lose our keen sense of justice and solidarity.

Charity by its nature is an act of goodwill, which is impossible without a feeling of belonging to society at the local, national or global levels, interest in its problems. No matter what its ultimate goal, charity is always based on solidarity and responsibility. Private, individual and collective initiatives in the field of social support, health care, education, environmental protection and culture are for the state much more important than it might seem at first glance.

In addition to the social sphere, charity plays a large role in the economic sphere. In terms of the volume of redistributed resources and employed labor, it is approaching the state and business, becoming a full-fledged economic factor. In addition, the charitable sector has an impact on the political sphere, attracting the attention of the powers that be to significant social problems, suggesting ways to solve them. Thus, today, charity is one of the driving forces of society.

There is a common misconception that charity is an activity for the rich, which is limited to material support. But for good deeds, there is not the only right format: free time, professional support, qualified help, timely proposed idea – all this will certainly be useful to someone. If we still talk about financial support, then there are many formats: one-time donations, inheritance, the creation of funds or, for example, annual donations to a certain institution. At the same time, new tools are constantly being created to make the donation process more convenient for the donor

From my own experience I was convinced of two very important things. Firstly, personal involvement is crucial, even when it comes to money transfer. Secondly, the risks pay off. The fact that philanthropists and foundations are not subjected to pressure from voters, shareholders or clients gives them unique freedom of action outside the given framework. This freedom is an amazing advantage, thanks to which they can safely experiment and increase their effectiveness.

Selfless participation manifests itself in various forms, and its success largely depends on whether the needs of the recipient and the wishes of the donor coincide. Biography, experience and values ​​give an initial impetus to action, but the strategy you choose is crucial. A person embarking on the path of charity must answer many questions. Why and for whom to make a donation? How much and for which projects to give? How will my donation affect? What are the risks? What can I expect?

Ultimately, rational and emotional motives must be weighed. Indeed, the awareness of personal interest does not yet form an engagement strategy – this is the initial impulse that prompts a person to choose this path. Participation in charity projects is a source of joy, food for thought, new experiences. As for me, I always feel that I receive more than I give.

But charity cannot be based only on generosity and emotions. If everything really begins with a desire to help, then goals are determined, help takes a concrete form and from that it becomes more effective. Consequently, the real circumstances in which the benefactor has to act deserve the most thorough analysis. Does the country have an administrative, legal and regulatory framework? What infrastructure is available to you: information exchange platforms, consulting services, mediation of national and international charitable foundations? What is the scale of the problem? Can recipients manage donations correctly, is there a possibility of feedback between them and patrons?

The development of the charity institution is a common task of patrons, foundations, and authorities. Here I highlight two main points for myself: “strengthening cooperation” and “putting charity on the map”. My dream is that funds give one thousandth of their assets to the development of the sector: this pool of resources would help attract new patrons, achieve even greater transparency and share experiences, thereby constantly increasing the importance of philanthropy in society.