Do you feel driven to make a positive difference in the world?
Do you get the sense that the traditional ways of doing good don’t really work for you?
Do you ever feel like your efforts to make a difference aren’t going as far as they could?
Do certain things about the way charities operate frustrate you?
Have you had some less-than-successful experiences with cause-related activities?
Do you get the feeling that there has to be a better way?
The old-school do-gooders
Traditionally, the term ‘do-gooder’ has conjured up images of well-meaning but naive folk; people who have the best of intentions, but are not super-smart about how they go about their ‘good works’. They might be inefficient. They might be too pushy. They might not be terribly well informed. They might do more harm than good.
These are the people who, when we see them coming, tend to have us running the other way for fear they will rope us into whatever their latest project is. These are the people who are often satirized and mocked in the media for their well-intentioned bustling that does not appear to produce much value. These are the people who are willing to pour themselves into anything with a ‘charity’ label, heedless of results or side effects.
What I’m describing here is not so much a real person as a caricature, but the point is that it’s a person that none of us truly wants to be.
There’s a new kind of do-gooder in town
The good news is: you don’t have to be. You don’t have to play by the old rules. You can have more control over the process of getting good done. You can take the guilt out of the process. You can be a partner in the process of creating the change you want to see in the world.
It doesn’t have to be a burden or a chore. Being a giver can be a rewarding, productive, and (dare I say it?) fun experience. There is a way to make your giving work better for you and produce worthwhile results at the same time. As a matter of fact, giving that works better for you almost certainly will produce better results.
It’s all about understanding your role in the process of doing good, and getting really good at it. You can let go of the pieces that shouldn’t be your problem. You can say ‘no’ to things that you don’t agree with. You can reject the old myths about how charity and giving should work, and focus on what actually does work; not only for the charities, but for you and for the people you’re hoping to help.
If you can master that mind-shift, the contributions you make to the causes you care about will become joyful and rewarding. Best of all – you will be the creator of more good than you ever thought possible. You will be not just a do-gooder, but a savvy do-gooder. Now, doesn’t that sound like a person you’d like to be?