Deb Gordon’s guest was New York philanthropist and author Jean Shafiroff, whose new book, ‘Successful Philanthropy: How To Make A Life By What You Give’, offers everyday citizens a practical guide on how to help and support the needy in their communities, with concrete tips and insight.
Most thoughts about philanthropists conjure up images of wealthy donors, and while that is often true, Ms. Shafiroff dissuades that notion with one of her own – that every person can be a philanthropist if they are caring and passionate and willing to give their time and whatever talents they have to give.
“Anyone can be a philanthropist,” said Shafiroff. “A philanthropist is someone who loves mankind and wants to make the world a better place.”
“It’s not about writing a massive check, it’s about giving of yourself,” Shafiroff continued. “If someone doesn’t have a lot of time, I suggest that they start by giving a few hours a week or a month.”
Ms. Shafiroff, who is on the Board of several organizations including The New York Mission Society, which helps underserved youth, and The New York Women’s Foundation, discussed the importance of being involved in the organization beyond the galas and lunches that many often hold, and also of being magnanimous to the staff, volunteers, and those they serve.
“I feel it’s so important for charities to look at the volunteers as they would almost like a piece of gold,” said Shafiroff. “Likewise, as a volunteer you will want to treat those that you’re working with the same way…if you’re serving the homeless – you must treat them with dignity and respect always.”
Ms. Shafiroff encouraged listeners to make volunteering and philanthropy a family affair and recalled how she started out baking brownies for her young daughters’ school sales, and now years later travels the country and world with her daughter Elizabeth, to advocate for animal rights – a cause her entire family is involved in.
“Volunteerism is actually down now and we need more volunteers,” said Shafiroff. “So many children today are interested in helping our world, and you as parents…can bring them in by choosing a cause with your child, and then getting involved together.”
Successful Philanthropy: How to Make a Life By What You Give is currently available in bookstores, and on Amazon.com. A portion of all proceeds will go to charity.
Ms. Shafiroff will hold several book signings in the New York area including at the Princeton Club on July 18th, and at East Hampton Library’s Author’s Night on August 13th.
For more information, visit www.jeanshafiroff.com or connect on Facebook.
–Deb Gordon/Fresh 102.7