The Journey Towards More Effective Giving

If you are among the fortunate ones who have managed to multiply their wealth to many millions or billions, then the decision to donate to charity is one that should not be made in a snap. Nowadays, philanthropists are becoming more and more keen that the money there are funneling to charities are being used properly and effectively.

The concept of strategic philanthropy involves giving that is built around careful research and structured strategies to make it as effective as possible. This notion has recently been the trend in giving. It is actually an attempt to go beyond the usual charity where you just give your monetary donations without knowledge on how it is going to be used. Several organizations are now in place to dispense advice to those who want to make sure that the portion of their wealth they are parting with will certainly go to good causes.

Before, people have been focusing on the administration costs. But now, philanthropists are encouraged to concentrate more on the output of their donations instead. So, charitable organizations are now pressured to produce concrete proof of results. For example, with regards to education programmes: Philanthropists would want to measure the impact of their donation to the results of these programmes.


One of the reasons why funders have turned to strategic philanthropy is the financial crisis that hit the world in the last few years. Those who are blessed enough put their money in a foundation, invest it then circulate the interest to charitable projects. But this process has produced lesser financial returns on their investments. So now, they want to focus on funding that really provide an impact. The crisis has also caused government funding to dry up, thereby leaving it up to the potential benefactors to decide about taking over and replacing the funding.

Another trend is the social impact bond, which aims to utilize private investment to block social problems and save the government money. In this phenomenon, philanthropists usually provide advance funding and are remunerated by the government if the targeted goals have been reached. The higher the social impact, the higher the return.

Some remain sceptic regarding the long-term success of social impact bonds, and others have accused them of being just another form of privatization. Still, the ultimate goal is to utilize philanthropic fund in the best way it should be — and this is exactly what philanthropists are working to achieve.

Do you think strategic philanthropy is better than the traditional? Have you involved yourself in some charitable activities lately?

Source: Triple Pundit

Study Finds Similarity Between Child Prodigies And Autistic People

Child prodigies are born, not made (mostly). Practice alone isn’t going to turn out the next 6-year-old Mozart. So finds a recent study of eight young prodigies, which sought to shed some light on the innate roots of their talent.

The study found a few key characteristics these youngsters had in common. For one, they all had exceptional working memories — the system that holds information active in the mind, keeping it available for further processing. Most people can hold seven digits at a time on average; hence, the seven-digit phone number. But prodigies can hold much more, and not only can they remember extraordinarily large numbers, but they can also manipulate them and carry out calculations that you or I might have trouble managing with pencil and paper.

Surprisingly, however, the study found that not all of the prodigies had high IQs. Indeed, while they had higher-than-average intelligence, some didn’t have IQs that were as elevated as their performance and early achievements would suggest. One child had an IQ of just 108, at the high end of normal.


There was something else striking too. The authors found that prodigies scored high in autistic traits, most notably in their ferocious attention to detail. They scored even higher on this trait than did people diagnosed with Asperger’s syndrome, a high-functioning form of autism that typically includes obsession with details.

The intense world theory propounds that all autism carries the potential for exceptional talent and social deficits. The social problems, the theory suggests, may ensue from the autistic person’s dysfunctional attempts — social withdrawal and repetitive behaviors, for instance — to deal with his heightened senses and memory. It’s possible, then, that the wiring in prodigies’ brains resembles that of an autistic person’s, or, their brains may function just like those with autism, but their high intelligence allows them to develop socially acceptable ways of coping with the sensory overload.

Do you believe that one can become a prodigy with lots and lots of practice, or is it just impossible because prodigies are born that way? Share your opinions with us!

Source: Yahoo News

Image: The Eclectic Garden