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225. The Truth About Philanthropy with Bob Hopkins

the daily helping podcast Sep 19, 2021

Today our expert guest is Bob Hopkins. He’s spent the last 30 years in business heading non-profit organizations and publishing the magazine Philanthropy World. Bob is one of the most well-known people in philanthropy anywhere. After retiring from the magazine in 2007, Bob went on to teach communications at The University of Texas and to teach in other roles around the world.

Known for his robust desire to make a difference in the community as well as his passion for philanthropy, he has received the Hero of Humanity Award from The Art of Living Foundation, and he has been a fundraising executive for the last 30 years, having served the Association of Fundraising Executives. 

In all of his philanthropic work, Bob has realized that it is often misunderstood – leading to his book, Philanthropy Misunderstood. Most people believe that philanthropy is simply giving money to a cause, but the fact is that philanthropy has nothing to do with money. It is about how you express a love of mankind. It wasn’t until we needed a name for those people who wrote out big checks that we changed that definition. Philanthropy is giving a wallet back that you found on the floor. It’s acknowledging someone that is homeless and possibly hurt or in danger when others try to ignore them. Philanthropy can mean any number of things outside of simply giving money to a cause.

The truth is that people give because of what it does for them. It makes those who give have a better life and there’s nothing wrong with that. If everyone did more good – knowing that they are actually the biggest beneficiaries of that good – the world would be a better place.


The Biggest Helping: Today’s Most Important Takeaway

“Everybody can be a changemaker. Everybody can change the life of somebody positively – only if they’re empathic. And so I tell my college students that today is the first day of the rest of your life. Giving is a habit – it’s habit formation – and, so, I’m empowering everybody who’s listening to me today that – even if you think you’re a giver – go, do something specifically that you didn’t think of before. Call up somebody next door, go knock on the door and find out how you can help them – and it’s an amazing thing that the first person next door probably needs your help – mentally, physically, or whatever.”



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There is incredible potential that lies within each and every one of us to create positive change in our lives (and the lives of others) while achieving our dreams.

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