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Making a philanthropic difference; even if you're not rich

May 11, 2018

Finding ways to make philanthropy more accessible. That’s one of the themes voiced by speakers at a local meeting of financial professionals held on Thursday night. 

You don’t need to be a George Eastman to have a big impact on your community. That’s part of the message  Paul Shoemaker delivered at the event sponsored by the Rochester Chapter of the CFA Society.

Shoemaker is an author and former Microsoft executive who is the founding president of an organization called Social Venture Partners, a philanthropic network.

He wants people to understand that you don’t necessarily have a lot of money to make a difference in your community. 

“I think the world we live in just has sort of a mindset, and a set of tools and a way of thinking that wasn’t there as much, 25 or 50 years ago, so that individual people now feel empowered; maybe you can’t write a nine figure check, but you can have a nine figure impact.”

Shoemaker says it’s a lot easier now to start grassroots networks that can work together to have an impact on their communities, not only through cash donations, but by also providing expertise in areas like marketing, technology and strategy. 

Also speaking at the event on Thursday night was Karl Zinsmeister, a former Domestic Policy Adviser under President George W. Bush.

He is an executive at the Philanthropy Roundtable, a Washington, D.C. organization that helps foundations, corporations, and major living donors be effective and efficient in their giving.