Seven Habits of Effective Philanthropists

Steven Covey’s book, The 7 Habits of Highly Successful People, outlines character traits and practices that make people ‘effective or successful’ in business.  By speaking and doing workshops with philanthropists assessing and determining how well we are doing individually and collectively on social issues has made me recognize similar habits of key leaders in philanthropy.  Here is my take on how these show up in leaders in philanthropy;

  1. Proactive – empowers one’s self; eager to seek out and use tools and resources to achieve success

  2. Vision – begins with the end in mind; focuses on values and what gives personal meaning; creates a giving plan with a theory of change and a framework aligned with where they spend their time, talent and treasure

  3. Walks the Talk – sees the value in sharing and learning and speaks up for the issues they fund; utilizes social responsible and gender lens investing tools to insure their investments align with their values and spending focus

  4. Win/Win – loves what they are doing; has an abundance mentality; connects with leaders in the nonprofit arena to learn how to catalyze their giving; willing to realize they don’t know all the answers

  5. Speaks First to Understand – listens, asks questions, explores differences and welcomes inclusive conversations where the words of others are heard and integrated

  6. Synergize with Others – has true faith in the potential and leadership of others; explores work with friends and others to collaborate for success

  7. Self-renewal – believes in self care for themselves and the organizations they fund; has commitment to continuous improvement and learning