Kumari Fulbright is a successful entrepreneur, MBA graduate, and life-long volunteer. Today she is going to discuss a subject that is near and dear to her heart – philanthropy.
In times of trauma and desperation, who does one turn to when things go wrong? Picture a world so cruel and unkind, with no one reaching out to pull you out of the deepest and darkest pit.
You are alone and hollow. Your tears have run dry.
How horrendous it would feel if this happened to you. Your life would be transformed into one desperate nightmare!
Fortunately for people around the world who have lost all hope, there are helping hands reaching out and making it their mission to give back to society. These people are philanthropists – their purpose in helping the needy is to make this world a better place to live.
There are many ways philanthropists can make a difference. Usually, it’s by supporting charitable causes, starting a community outreach program or building a charitable foundation themselves.
What is philanthropy?
Many people think philanthropy is a form of charitable activity reserved for the wealthy and elite, or multi-national mega corporations. That is not true!
If you wish to promote the welfare of others by contributing your money or time, you are a philanthropist.
Philanthropy is an innate desire to improve the social, economic and spiritual well being of humankind.
Philanthropy is not only just for the rich and powerful, but it's also for everyone to learn and master, this is becoming a person who is truly selfless and leads a purpose-driven life.
Philanthropy is giving thought, care, and deliberation. It’s about going beyond the expected and becoming involved. It is about bringing your giving in line with your hopes for a better world.
Everyone, whether you’re a CEO or a taxi driver, has the ability to help someone out in times of need.
Even small gestures such as letting an old woman go to the front of the line in the bank or helping out at the local community service delivery food to homeless folk could be considered a form of philanthropy.
I started the Freedom Initiative Project merely based on the goal of assisting women emerging from abusive relationships, recently released from incarceration, re-entering the workforce after divorce, or any life situation resulting in dislocation.
Now, even though I don’t have a billion dollars, I make it my mission to provide resources, programming, life skills, workforce training, and housing to those in need.
I learned something interesting when I was doing my research about philanthropy. It turns out, men and women differ in their perspective when it comes to donations.
Studies have shown that different genders have different behavioral patterns when donating. For example, women are more likely to give than their male counterparts across most age groups. But when men give, they tend to concentrate their donations on a single organization, while women tend to spread their contributions across several groups.
While the results show us some interesting insights, in reality, it doesn't really matter as long as we give and try to make a difference to alleviate the plight of the world.
You might think a dollar a two will barely put a dent on poverty, but to those in need, it can mean a chance to enjoy a simple meal, so they do not have to go to bed hungry.
My vision for Freedom Initiative Project goes beyond merely providing financial support for the women getting their strength back after trauma, but also to provide a network of support through education, housing, and employment to help them get back on the road to recovery.
The great thing about doing philanthropic work is that it is easy for anybody to start. You can find these opportunities anywhere from your community, your neighborhood, or your business. For example, if you lead a team of employees, promote a culture of giving, making it part of the company culture.
Even if you’re not a business owner, you can do your part and encourage your coworkers to give back to society. If you’re worried that asking people to fork out money is going to be difficult, organize a volunteering activity to help out those in need in your community.
Remember, no amount of contribution is too small, and virtually every charitable organization is always looking for new volunteers. Think about where your interest lies and let them lead you to an initiative that will leave you feeling engaged and satisfied!
Lastly, if you've already been helping other people, participated in your community as a volunteer, or if you've given donations and of your time, I want to thank you for being a beautiful human being! You have made a difference, and you are a reason why the world is still a beautiful place to live in.
If you haven't given back yet, I really do hope that you will consider starting sometime soon. Giving to others can make you a healthier, happier, and a better person. Just think about it!
About Kumari Fulbright
Kumari Fulbright leads the Freedom Initiative Project with passion and a lifelong commitment to service in the community. Kumari holds a Bachelor’s degree in psychology from the University of Michigan-Ann Arbor and a Masters of Business Administration (MBA) in management from the University of South Florida.
She has studied law at The University of Arizona’s James E Rogers College of Law and where she was selected for membership in the Arizona Journal of International and Comparative Law.
Kumari brings a diverse career background ranging from assisting women, and minority-owned businesses win government contracts to entrepreneurship within the entertainment industry.
Kumari was inspired to start the Freedom Initiative Project by her own experiences of transition. She believes that with education, opportunity, and a supportive network, women can rise above their circumstances to become contributing members of their communities. Along with a dynamic Board of Directors and dedicated volunteers, Kumari hopes to help women rise from abuse and recidivism to independence.