THE BLOG
03/14/2014 03:12 pm ET Updated May 13, 2014

What's the Best Way to Give Back?

Today giving is a matter of status, a way to run away from excessive tax, to look good in public, and yes, a few genuine motives to make a positive impact in society. There are people impressing people who don't care, others with money they don't have. Okay, what do you get in return besides less tax? Somehow, we all need to do it for the right reasons to get the satisfaction out of it.

There is a growing trend of power couples embarking on charity spending, a fantastic example is of John Arnold and his wife Laura. This is a trend not only for the rich and powerful, but for other couples with the necessary resources.

An individual who brought philanthropy to the mainstream was Andrew Carnegie, then a major titan followed, John D. Rockefeller, who gave out more money to society than anyone to this day. More than Bill Gates and Warren Buffet combined.

Let's go back to the revered philanthropist Andrew Carnegie; he needed to repair his public image after the incident of the Johnstown Flood in 1889 where 2,209 people were killed. In the outrage, the public blamed the incident on South Fork Fishing and Hunting Club where Carnegie was a member. As a result of his conscious, he went out to build libraries and the famous Carnegie Hall; however, in the sun set days of his life, he did it out of passion as he left the business arena to focus exclusively on philanthropy. The most significant gift he gave to generations after him, was intellectual capital, by enabling Napoleon Hill to write his book: The Law of Success.

Nowadays, we have young people around the world joining the philanthropic game, through various organizations such as Nexus Youth Summit which gathers young wealth holders and dynamic social entrepreneurs to collaborate; such a mixture creates miracles.

For years Africa was a go to destination where those who had a little too extra, went to spend money in impoverished communities; today there is a new breed of businessmen and women in Africa who are at the forefront, doing this for their own people. Names that come to mind of such remarkable individuals who are operating on a continental level is Strive Masiyiwa, Wendy Luhabe and Ashish Thakkar. It has been bad that my African people lived on grants and aid, it's about time Africa relies on itself, and that applies to every continent and country; it's true, charity begins at home.

One amazing facet of philanthropy is that there are many ways to give back. You can offer your services in a form of knowledge impartation, skill transfer and obviously the money aspect to combat various social ills.

Since many governments endorsed social investment by rewarding givers with less taxes, many people ran and registered at charities without a sustainable model to keep their organizations alive beyond donations; this is totally unimpressive, besides their good intentions. A lot of nonprofit organizations are closing their doors since there is no income to carry on. The best charities and foundations are those which are self-sustained and receive support from their founders who are involved in business.

I say, you don't need to be a Rockefeller or Gates to contribute to society; philanthropy is a way of life in today's world. You don't need the media to tell your story, the more private your giving is, the better! Only tell to inspire us to do likewise, not to boast or score points with us. The greatest joy in life is serving others through the abundance of knowledge, skills, money or anyway you see fit.

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