I will donate money when....

charity giving goals giving mindset Apr 04, 2022

I will give when… 

  • Once I pay off these loans, then I will start giving.
  • Once I pay off the mortgage, then I can donate money.
  • Once I finish funding my kid’s college funds, my retirement funds  ….
  • After I pay to replace the roof, the water heater, the old car…


  • I’m not a billionaire.  (Or a millionaire.)
  • I’m not a philanthropist.  (Those are the super-rich fancy old people, right?)
  • I don’t have enough money to make a difference.
  • If I won the lottery, then I could give money that would actually make an impact.

When you think about it, chances are that you are already giving.  Given during a natural disaster or humanitarian crisis?  Have you donated to a friend’s FB fundraiser? Supported a school fundraiser with your kids?  You know what that makes you - A philanthropist. 

The Merriam Webster definition is:  one who makes an active effort to promote human welfare.

Or from the Oxford English dictionary online: a person who seeks to promote the welfare of others, especially by the generous donation of money to good causes. (Note: we will all have different ideas of “generous” and “good”.)

The literal meaning is: “love of humanity.”

Notice that these definitions don’t have a minimum amount.  Any amount that you contribute matters and can make a difference.  Small contributions add up and can have great impact.

I was surprised, and not surprised, when I came across these numbers:   As a percentage of income, the highest givers are making less than $50,000/year and over $10 million a year.  So if you are in the middle category as most of us are (between $50,000 and $10 million/year income), I invite you to think again if you can identify with some of those thoughts above.  Many of us have those thoughts, but are they true? Are they limiting beliefs that keep us from doing something we might want to do?


What I am talking about here is “Giving Mindset”. 

I have to say, when I first heard about the “mindset”, I was absolutely not interested.  I was struggling with burnout and getting suggestions like "meditate" and "work on your mindset"  –  and at the time, my reaction was “you’ve got to be freaking kidding me with this”.  But a seed was planted, and when I did start learning about mindset, I could see how important and relevant it was to giving.

 If we have the feeling of scarcity – that we don’t have enough – it’s hard to imagine giving anything away.  But if we have a feeling of abundance – that we do have enough – we may be more inspired to give. 

 If we feel helpless, like nothing we do can make a difference, we might not be inclined to try to do anything.  However if we feel that even with small acts of kindness we are making a difference, we might feel empowered to try to make an impact, even a small but positive impact. 

 While we may not have control over circumstances in the world – wars, pandemics, natural disasters, etc. – we do have control of our thoughts.  This may seem like a small thing at first, but this can be a powerful thing. When considering mindset, the thoughts we choose can affect our feelings, which can then affect our actions and the results of our actions. 

 When it comes to giving, instead of the thoughts I started with above, what if you could think: I can make a small difference right now, and then that made you feel empowered, and then you took a small action and made a small donation, and the result would be that you helped someone?  What if we could all do that?  I believe that together we can do so much good. 



You can be the change you want to see in the world through effective, efficient, and impactful philanthropy. Check out my course, The Physician Philanthropist, for a comprehensive education on and strategy for maximizing the impact of your giving both for you and your causes

Online Course

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