Alumna Jess Fehr (BA ’09) shares her top three philanthropic tips
At its core, philanthropy is the love of humankind. I started to learn about philanthropy at a young age, but didn’t fully understand it until I landed a job at a local art gallery, after completing my BA at the University of Lethbridge in 2009. Once I began working in a non-profit organization, I learned the importance of being an active and engaged community member, helping organizations that push boundaries to move our community in the right direction, and of giving where and what I can!
A big misconception about philanthropy is that the only way to be philanthropic is to make monetary donations. The truth is, philanthropy encompasses the three Ts: giving your time, talent and treasure with the goal of making an impact and leaving a legacy.
I want to share a few tips and tricks for starting your own philanthropic journey:
1) Create a philanthropic culture at home, at work and with your peers. Talk about the importance of supporting organizations you care about. Discuss ways these organizations help make your community a great place to live, work and play.
2) Get involved in your community.
Join a board of directors, volunteer with a charity, attend an event or mentor a student from your alma mater. You'll learn the importance of giving your time, talent and treasure quickly!
3) Give when it aligns with your values.
Giving away your hard-earned money is tough. Give to organizations that align with your personal goals and values, and that you feel connected to. I spread what I can afford between a few organizations that have had an effect on my life.
Getting involved and helping my community is very important to me. A few ways I give back to my community is by sitting on the board of the Association of Fundraising Professionals (AFP). The AFP is where like-minded peers work together to encourage and build a sense of unity, leveraging philanthropic activities to build better communities. I am also a co-founder of a social enterprise, GirlGang Kindness, with an aim to create fun and courageous spaces, foster human connection through small acts of kindness, and to support organizations already doing great work. We want to encourage all individuals to be kind: to themselves, to one another, and to their communities. All of these are volunteer opportunities that help build a philanthropic culture in my career at uLethbridge and in the community.
Want to read more about the ways I bring philanthropy into my daily life? Head to my LinkedIn page!