Catalyst, Philanthropy

The Abundance Dilemma

For the first time in my professional life I have a larger budget than I’m sure how to spend. Being in the role of making grants to deserving people and organisations is an amazing opportunity, but almost immediately it becomes abundantly clear that there are far more worthwhile causes than we have resources. By foundation standards we really aren’t that big, and the needs in our own community and around the world are so immense. As a foundation we need to do a lot of learning and take the time to figure out how to use our resources most effectively to accomplish what we feel is our part. We’ve decided that the best way to do this is to take the next several months to focus on getting familiar with a wide range of ministries and work on the fundamentals of what we value and where we believe we can help the most. We aren’t planning to disburse any further funds until September while we work on all that stuff. What I’m realising in this process is that the dilemma of having our funds to distribute among seemingly endless meaningful and worthy possible partners is not all that unusual. In my personal life I have a certain amount of financial resources, a certain amount of time and energy. And I have the responsibility of determining how to use it all (with my wife of course). The possibilities are diverse and there are a lot of really good options. So, whether I’m working at Catalyst or planning as a family. I have a pretty significant responsibility to face. The new perspectives and experiences I’m exposed to in this new role only make that more apparent.