Can A Man Invest In More Than Himself? Consider Starting Small with Philanthropy

The GuysReal men want to make a difference. A defining impact in their life time. We don’t want to just pass through this life, grab what we can get, and then except and rot in a grave. Don’t just accumulate wealth—make it grow, and give it away. This might seem like a tall order, but consider starting small with philanthropy.

Jesus said  “It’s more blessed to give than receive.” We certainly can’t give without receiving. And you don’t have to be receiving “big-time” in order to give. You can consider starting small with philanthropy—whether that is monetarily or through giving your time. A man’s greatest satisfaction can come from giving away—from investing in someone other than ourselves.

You don’t have to be a die-hard philanthropist to be full of joy in this life. If you’re looking for fame and recognition because you’re an incredible giver, then this article isn’t for you.

It doesn’t take you arriving at millionaire status and your face on the front page of CNN to invest in a non-profit. You can start small—even by investing in one homeless person on the street.

World-changers don’t have to start out by aiming for a cure to AIDS or ridding the world of poverty. Bill Gates is well-known for his philanthropy. And you can be remembered too—even if it’s by one person or one family.

Making a Difference—Consider Starting Small with Philanthropy

Many readers of Fearless Men have an entrepreneurial, self-motivated fervor. You might work a full-time job, but if you’re our average reader, you’re an above average kind of man (or woman). You probably have other dreams, plans, or another side gig growing to bring in more income. That is entrepreneurial fervor.

Why not take the same entrepreneurial zeal and philosophy and apply it to making a difference in people’s lives? You don’t have to work full-time as a missionary, in a soup kitchen, or in a lab fighting cancer to do this. Becoming an upstart at anything—a restaurateur, a carpet cleaner, a cabinet maker, even a philanthropist doesn’t take 60 hours a week to start.

If you want to invest in more than just yourself, here’s some upstart ways to begin:

1. Consider Starting Smallnight on the street

You don’t have to find the best, most trusted non-profit to give a donation to to start your efforts at philanthropy.

Yes, do your research before giving your hard-earned cash away to charities. Look at their overhead and their fundraising expenses. Are they accountable? Are they making a tangible difference? (This is an article in itself that we can’t dive into here).

You don’t have to do all of the above to feel secure that you’re making a difference. In fact, you don’t have to start by donating money at all. You can:

  • Find an individual or family to invest in.
  • Donate food
  • Donate toys or clothes
  • Donate toiletries, pillows, shampoo (homeless people need this stuff too!)
  • Donate blood
  • Donate time—make this a great shared experience and time of life lessons with your kids or niece and nephews!

2. Change The World—By changing one person’s world

The world’s problems sometimes seem much too big to make a dent in. Don’t feel like you need to conquer the world’s problems. Help one person or family conquer theirs.

In February this past year my best friend Brian was doing research to write a grad school paper. He’s studying Marriage and Family Therapy. He was required to interact with, and write a paper on, interacting with a disadvantaged minority group. Brian chose to spend a night on the street as a homeless person. When he told me the idea I thought it sounded pretty awesome. I mean, haven’t you always dreamt of sleeping exposed on the street? Well, for me, I actually had wanted to spend a night on the street for a while.

One night was hard. I was so hungry and thirsty the next morning. I can’t imagine having the energy to go get water, food, a shower, clean clothes, and then try to find a job. It’s tough.

I once thought giving homeless people a handout was only contributing to poverty’s problems. Now I know that’s not necessarily the case. I see children and woman pan-handling. Even veterans or disabled people. Listen, a handout helps these folks out.

Are you open to hearing what is one step better? Helping the same person over and over. If you can help one man, woman or child emerge from poverty—or other dire straits—do it. It’s not complicated. If on your routine drive you see the same person asking for food each day, get to know them at lunch sometime. If they have some vision to get out of their situation (and I’m positive they will), encourage them and give them some consistent help. Small steps make a difference. Maybe it’s not a homeless person you help; maybe it’s a person at the office who’s beset by tough times or a death in the family.

3. Invest Yourself Into An Organization

Whether or not you have the money to donate, committing yourself as a reliable volunteer can greatly help an organization. You don’t have to make a commitment up front, maybe experiment and find a place you would like to invest yourself into. But do it with an aim. Figure out where you can give consistent help—non-profits need people they can rely on.

4. Invest Financially Into Charity Work

Every financially minded person knows they must research before making an investment that they expect to pay off. It’s no difference with philanthropic work.

Whether it’s creating a lasting gift to help individuals and families, helping your own clients or staff give, understanding charities and non-profits, there are companies that give philanthropic guidance that can help you maximize and feel secure about your gifts making a difference.

Consider Starting Small

A man doesn’t need to feel like he’s conquered the world. And he doesn’t need to make his mission changing the entirety of it.

Start small. Even if no one notices, you’ll know you made a difference.


  1. This is a very timely article.

    I prefer to do something directly rather than give money to charities.

    My wife, 2 boys, and I volunteer to clean up the neighborhood on Saturday mornings. We have answered phones during PBS fundraising events. We have served dinners at homeless shelters.

    We donate food and clothes at Christmas through the church.

    Small things count too. As I walk my dog around the neighborhood, I try to cheerfully greet the people I see.

  2. You’ve done the PBS thing? Man that’s so cool!

    I think cleaning up the neighborhood is a great way to build better relationships with your neighbors and making an extremely localized investment. Great idea Terry!

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