Alexander Lakhanpal | Humanitarian Efforts

Alexander Lakhanpal is a committed philanthropist

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Washington Post Article – Children in Yemen

The article published by the Washington Post reminds us all of the importance of helping others and give to others, even when we think we cannot afford it.

Top Philanthropists in the World

Warren Buffett:

Warren Buffett may be considered as one of the top Philanthropists in the world. Throughout Buffet’s lifetime he has always be one too help out the less fortunate. One of Buffett’s main ideas was creating the Giving Pledge. The giving pledge is a promise made by some of most wealthy people in world will donate half their earnings throughout their lifetime. Since he created this in 2010, it has enjoyed incredible success.

Bill Gates:

Gates is the Co-founder of Microsoft, the largest Computer Software company in the World. He too, was part of creating the Giving Pledge that has encountered so much success over the years. Gates has donated over 30 billion dollars over to charity over his lifetime, talk about generous. Right ? Bill and his wife started a foundation back in 2000, known as the BIll and Melinda Foundation. Since launching this foundation, they have had much success. The goal for this foundation is to improve healthcare and extreme poverty in America.

Mark Zuckerberg:

Zuckerberg has been a major figure in philanthropic world for quite some time. After launching facebook back in 2007, the young entrepreneur has enjoyed incredible amount of success. Recently, Zuckerberg said was going to donate 99% of his shares to charity, which is worth an astounding 45 billion. How generous is that?

Michael Bloomberg:

Former mayor of New York City, Michael Bloomberg, has also done his part in contributing to society. He has currently donated 3 billion dollars and has a net worth at around $37.7 billion. Bloomberg is the founder and CEO of both Bloomberg Media Company and Bloomberg Foundation. The Bloomberg foundations aims to focus on five areas, which include the environment, public health, the arts, government innovation and education. This foundation has been successful over the years and has done an amazing job giving back to society. Bloomberg has also donated billions of dollars to his alma mater, John Hopkins University. Since he has been so committed to helping John Hopkins University they decided to rename one of the schools to Bloomberg School of Public Health.

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Investing in the Future : How Shiv Nadar Gives

Shiv NadarShiv Nadar is known as many things. Anyone with the slightest interest in the tech world knows him as the cofounder of HCL technologies, this is the fourth largest software firm in India. Nadar is essentially tech-world royalty, just earlier this month he was ranked as the 14th richest tech billionaire in the world and the fourth richest in all of Asia. His net worth is estimated at $13.7 billion.

But outside of his tireless work as a tech mogul, Nadar is known for something else. Following in the footsteps of do-gooders like Bill Gates or Warren Buffet, Nadar is a full-blown philanthropist.

Back in 1994, Nadar set up a foundation under the moniker of his own name, and has continued to give through that organization.

It’s estimated that Shiv has already spent nearly six hundred million dollars through various charitable acts and programs like donating to museums, universities and even allocating funds to start schools. Based on his track record, it would appear that education and preserving or developing cultural institutions and places of higher learning are a cause of particular importance to Nadar.

With such a massive budget though, it’s safe to assume that Nadar must have some methodology or plan in place when it comes to giving. It might not turn out that well if you have a billion dollars at your disposal and no plan! That being said, the tech wizard has claimed that, “Education is, and will be the most powerful tool for individual and social change and we must do all that it takes to facilitate it.”

Nadar believes in the power of education and hopes to enable and empower people with this tool. But what does that mean on a practical level?

Back in 2009, the Shiv Nadar Foundation created an initiative meant to find the top students from rural primary schools that spanned over seventy districts in Uttar Pradesh. The initiative  then offered free schooling to nearly 2,000 students. The intention behind these schools is to provide the best and the brightest from underserved rural communities in India with the tools and opportunities afforded to the students through an unparallelled academic experience.

In addition to the Vidya Gyan initiative, the museums in India run by Shiv’s wife Kiran, intend to cultivate a passion for and a knowledge of modern Indian Art. Collections from these museums have been exhibited at other museums of note like the Guggenheim, Gwanju and the Rockbund,

Although we all have the choice of how we want to give to others, there is something to be said about investing in “renewable” sources like education, culture and knowledge.


4 Tips on Integrating Volunteers Into Your Cause

Alexander LakhanpalWhile establishing a not-for-profit organization or a charitable cause presents as many challenges as developing a for-profit venture, there are some aspects unique to the organizations with a philanthropic core. When cultivating a workforce in a business, there are a number of considerations that go into evaluating potential candidates. Skill, experience, growth potential, culture fit and ability to generate revenue are all factors worth considering when looking to hire a new employee for your business. But how do the criteria for acceptance as well as the structure of your organization change when your workforce is unpaid?

In some ways for-profit and philanthropic ventures share the same desire for success and growth through a combination of expert leadership and a committed work force, but the two differ in what those metrics of success look like and how to get there.

When looking to build a charitable organization, this distinct difference in labor  should influence certain aspects of both the company and how you hire. Creating an organization with this type of workforce in place can be broken down into four steps.

Developing a vision is the first step that will guide the entire process of launching and maintaining this effort. The vision both looks outwards, defining the cause that you wish to support and focuses inwards in terms of how you see the culture, conduct and aspirational growth of your organization. Once the vision is established, it’s time to define this succinctly in a mission statement as well as through supporting information that defines organizational procedures and policies in line with both the vision and the mission.

Step two revolves around building an infrastructure. How will this organization run? What roles are necessary in order to ensure the proper oversight of different departments. What does each job entail? What structures need to be in place to support the operations of the company as well as the people who work there? These are the questions that need to be answered and addressed when building the infrastructure of a new philanthropic venture. Once the infrastructure is clearly laid out, applications, agreements and position descriptions should emerge from this.

Evaluation. Once the employees – both paid and unpaid are in place, it’s critical that the different facets of the organization are tracked and assessed. Gathering as much information as possible is necessary so that the organization can easily identify where it is excelling and where it could use improvement. When used properly, this kind of data can unlock all sorts of potential in a growing organization.  its short-comings and adjust accordingly.

Training and Orientation. Today it seems that this step can often go overlooked for a more sink or swim approach, but arming your employees and volunteers with proper training is key. Not only does training ensure that all representatives of the organization share a base level of knowledge, it also serves as a chance for you to really clarify the mission of your organization and remind the employees of why they want to commit their time to this cause. Ongoing training is a great tool too as it helps keep employees and volunteers engaged with their work, and it ensures that your company is evolving.

So for those looking to start a charitable cause, make sure that you deploy Vision, Infrastructure, Assessment and training to set your cause up for success.

See idealist for more thoughts on the subject.

Encouraging Others to Give

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