Giving takes many forms. When we see the images of horrific damage brought on by hurricanes in the Caribbean, Florida or Texas, or by the earthquakes in Mexico, we are moved to send money in response.
Through a simple financial transaction, we’ve helped address an immediate need. The same is true when we support a local food pantry to provide a meal for a hungry family, when we donate to a homeless shelter to keep a single mother and her children off the street or when our gifts to a domestic violence service agency help a battered woman escape an abusive relationship.
This type of transactional philanthropy is important and necessary to help those in immediate crises meet very pressing needs. For many donors, that’s enough. But what happens when we think more strategically about the needs in question?
What if we think not about making transactions to help meet needs but about changing the conditions that create the needs in the first place?