In my recent Huffington Post blog, I talked about how any venture, whether it is commercial or philanthropic, should aim at improving the lives of as many people as possible. I am convinced that by applying entrepreneurial values to philanthropy we will be able to meet the needs of the greatest number of people. To me, giving away money is just a temporary fix. Instead, we should approach philanthropy in a strategic and systematic way just as an entrepreneur approaches a new venture. That’s the only way to make a self-sustaining difference in the world.
From my experience, there are the four key elements for philanthropic success:
1. Overcome the Infrastructure.
2. Build Scale.
3. Make it Self-Sustaining.
4. Live an Entrepreneurial Life.
Philanthropists can learn important lessons from business entrepreneurs. They both spend their time solving problems. And to be successful they both must overcome physical challenges and create self-sustaining operations. And ultimately, they must allow people to take action for their own benefit.