With the rise of the tech industry, Silicon Valley has become home to one of the wealthiest sectors in the US. That also makes it a prime target for charitable organizations in need of funding, but charitable organizations are finding Silicon Valley to be a tough nut to crack. Getting charitable donations from Silicon Valley donors is not impossible, but it does require a different approach from other types of donors. Here are four tips on seeking philanthropic contributions in Silicon Valley.
- Focus on numbers, not emotion
Charitable organizations are somewhat infamous for playing on the heartstrings of donors. One of the most notorious examples of this was this 2006 SPCA commercial featuring Sarah McLachlan that had viewers scurrying for remotes the second they heard the first terrifying bars of the song. This isn’t to say that the denizens of Silicon Valley don’t have a heart; it is to say that they are more swayed by facts, figures and numbers than emotional pleas.
- Use data, data and more data
Where advanced analytics was once the purview of only the giants of industry, they are now available to even the most humble non-profits. Size does not matter to Silicon Valley nearly as much as potential does. In a world where most businesses were just a humble startup in the last decade, being a small non-profit doesn’t discount you from big donations from Silicon Valley if you can prove you have the infrastructure in place to put them to good use.
- Be a disruptor
Silicon Valley is a prime target for smaller non-profits that have to compete with established giants for donor dollars. There is little Silicon Valley loves more than a disruptor, or a small upstart that can prove it has a new solution to an age-old problem. While this may be somewhat unfair to larger organizations that are fighting an issue for which there legitimately is no real “solution,” it is one of the very best ways to wrangle donor dollars from the tech world.
- Speak the language
Anyone who speaks more than one language knows that languages do more than just use different words for the same items. Languages actually impact world view, and the way certain things are phrased in each language provides deep insight into how that culture views various things. To speak the language of Silicon Valley is to also understand the mindset. By understanding the mindset, you will be far better positioned to connect with donors in a way that makes them eager to give.
Philanthropy is a well-integrated concept in society today. Different stakeholders perform different functions to facilitate and encourage the concept of giving towards charity. As a donor, you should put heavy emphasis on being informed regarding the concept of philanthropy. Here are 4 major philanthropy magazines that you may consider subscribing to if you’d like to receive valuable information in the area of philanthropy.
The Chronicle of Philanthropy
This magazine produces and publishers news and opinion-related pages that generally revolve around the area of non-profit giving and the role it plays in the society. The magazine produces special reports, webinars, as well as benchmarking data and information of particular interest to nonprofit professionals and enthusiastic philanthropists. Founded in 1986, the magazine has continually encouraged and propagated the idea of giving towards charity and how it helps better the lives of the less fortunate.
The Nonprofit Times
The NonProfit Times is a 31-year-old dedicated magazine that publishes news information, analysis, special coverage, and any other information relating to the area of giving towards charity. The digital publication-based magazine focuses on providing unbiased and independent information, targeting to inform managers in the nonprofit sector. It also features instances of charity-based giving and the management of such resources through accountability and transparency.
The Contributions Magazine
The Contributions Magazine is a dedicated channel of information that focuses on reporting volunteer and charitable works within the US. The magazine churns out valuable information, tips, articles, and news relating to charity-based giving. The magazine’s prospected readership includes business managers whose foundations have a key taste for philanthropy. The magazine also details fundraising-related activities such as how to conduct online and web-based fundraisers, the writing of proposals for charity-based programs, and management and coordination of all volunteer efforts for optimal societal benefits.
The Non-Profit Board Report
This magazine is a fast-read resource dedicated to channeling news and information in the area of philanthropy to nonprofit executives and other persons with interest on given towards charity. The Non-Profit Board Report magazine helps individuals to stay up-to-date with valuable information, such as taxation that affects non-profit organizations, expert strategies on the area of fundraising, recruiting, managing, and coordinating charity-based volunteer work.
Volunteering has been shown to have a number of health and overall quality of life benefits. Volunteers have been shown to live longer, have deeper emotional stability and even experience better mental health and happiness. That being said, it is also important to find the right place to volunteer and in the right capacity. For some, volunteering may be something they want to be heavily invested in for a longer period, while others may want the flexibility to simply pitch in now and then. No matter what your needs or interests are, there is a volunteer opportunity that is right for you. Here are three ways to find it.
- Start with something you love
Some people prefer working with animals over people, while others love working with plants, gardening or working outdoors. Some enjoy working with the elderly, while others enjoy working with young people or even those with special needs. Whatever you enjoy, there is a charitable organization dedicated to that cause, so go out and find it. You most likely also have some special skills to offer, so another way to start is by looking for an organization that needs the skills you have to offer.
- Volunteer in a few different places
It is unlikely you would take the first job you interviewed for or marry the first person you dated. Just like in life, you will most likely be far happier with your choices if you explore several options before making one. You might find a great fit right at the start or it may take some more time. If you don’t like one volunteer activity or organization immediately, that’s okay. Don’t quit until you find one you do like. It may take time to find the place that’s right for you. Every time you volunteer even once at an organization, you are still doing valuable and meaningful work.
- Set a strict volunteering schedule and stick to it
Burnout is one of the most common problems when it comes to volunteering. No matter how much you give or do, the organization will always need more. That is why it is highly important to set boundaries and stick to them. Volunteering won’t bring you all the benefits it can if you are stressed, overstretched or overburdened by your responsibilities. When it stops being fun or enjoyable, it might be time to take a step back and let someone else take over for a while.
About Ian Ruzow
Ian Ruzow is a committed member of his community as well as a successful entrepreneur. Ian has found that the best success has come by developing projects within the city he grew up in, as they have been extremely rewarding and impactful. Living and working in Lancaster, PA, Ian Ruzow was born in Johannesburg, South Africa. He is likely most well known for his work as COO of Clipper Magazine, a company that he founded with three of his college friends while they studied at Franklin & Marshall College. Now that he has found his passion, Ian is happy to not only help the community around him thrive, but to give back as well.
Ian Ruzow has a deep love for his community. He has spent the entirety of his career committed to creating experiences for his fellow community members to be proud of. After he and his business partners sold their ownership of Clipper Magazine to Gannett Co., they decided to take on a new venture in real estate development as part of Lancaster, PA’s booming real estate division. Ian Ruzow, along with Bob Zuckerman, Rob Liss, and Steve Zuckerman- the original founders of Clipper Magazine- partnered with Michael J. O’brien and Eric Scott to combine years of real estate development and local business development talent to take on the challenge of bringing rustic, industrial spaces to the area.
In addition to local business, Ian Ruzow is also passionate about giving back to his local community and the world at large. His wife is heavily involved with a charity called BeSomeone Worldwide, which is a non-profit organization dedicated to bringing sustainable projects to the places and people who need them most. They especially focus on education, disaster relief, women’s empowerment and social entrepreneurship. Ian Ruzow himself supported various philanthropic efforts through the Lancaster Barnstormers. As many of the team’s home game promotions are designed to benefit various philanthropic organizations, charity is a major part of how the Barnstormers and Clipper Magazine Stadium represent the Lancaster community.
Ian Ruzow has spent the majority of his career developing opportunities in Lancaster County and its surrounding areas. He and his business partners, Bob Zuckerman, Steve Zuckerman, and Rob Liss, have been involved with an incredible amount of projects in the area after having sold their ownership of Clipper Magazine to Gannett Co. Some of the group’s newest and most successful projects have included a vintage pinball arcade called Silverball Museum, work with the advertising firm Jaxxon Promotions, and a community-filled venture called Opening Day Partners, which acts as an entertainment company focusing on operating and directing minor league baseball teams and stadiums. Here, Ian Ruzow has worked with teams such as the Southern Maryland Blue Crabs, Lancaster Barnstormers, Sugarland Skeeters, Camden Riversharks, and the York Revolution.
For more information on Ian Ruzow, his involvement with philanthropy, and how to get started on your own charitable projects, stay tuned to Ian’s blog page as new content will be posted regularly.