What are the key character traits of a philanthropist? To find the answer we have looked at a large number of profiles of people who call themselves philanthropists and here is a summary of some of the characteristics that we have observed.
Today, philanthropy means generosity in all of its forms not only in giving money but in offering your time and skills or even other types of resources you may have such as a network which you can activate. The possibilities are endless and there is a philanthropist in each and every one of us.
Key character traits of a philanthropist:
1. They are empathetic
They feel an obligation to do whatever is in their power to combat struggles and inequality because they view the problems and the hurt that comes from them as their own.
2. They are business-minded
Many philanthropic people look at their contributions as investments in both society and the wider economy. They are motivated to use their money and resources efficiently and in an organised-manner in order to promote self-sustaining change. Accordingly, successful philanthropists look at issues through a business lens, treating their philanthropic work with the same work ethic as they would their own business – they focus on driving an investment designed to deliver the greatest impact and return.
3. They are extraverts
This may not hold true for all philanthropists but most are extroverts who typically exhibit characteristics such as excitability, sociability, talkativeness, assertiveness and high amounts of emotional expressiveness. They often have a dominant or assertive style, with high energy or activity levels, speech fluency, sociability and active social participation.
4. They are strategic
Philanthropists are problem solving oriented. They want to understand the issue and then apply their skills to resolve it. Successful philanthropists seek specific causes to support rather than organisations as they are tend to think over the long term. They first identify something they would like to see happen in the world and then go out to look for organisations that can best make their vision a reality.