Philanthropy & Motivation


There are so many beautiful examples of philanthropy in the world. We are fortunate enough to live in a time when you can execute a simple internet search and find countless examples of people helping each other. When I did just that recently, I came across the story of Dame Stephanie Shirley in a BBC article "What Motivates Philanthropists?" by Shanaz Musafer.

Dame Stephanie's life story is epic. As a five year old she fled Nazi Germany just weeks before the outbreak of World War II. In 1962 she founded a software company. To break into this new, male dominated field, she had to use the name "Steve" for a time. The success of her company left her with a sizable fortune, much of of which she has given away.

What motivates her philanthropy?

  • Personal experience. Her late son had profound autism and much of her philanthropy was dedicated to enhancing the lives of others like him.
  • A sense of gratitude. I love this quote from Dame Stephanie, "I've been given so much myself, what else can I do but give?".
  • The joy of giving. She derives more joy from using her money to help others than from spending it. She feels that she gets "back much more than I give - [in terms of] pleasure, quality of life, friendships, fulfillment." And finally she states, "To me giving is a lot of fun. It's not a question of compassion, it is a question of joy."

Hopefully we can all let her example serve as a reminder to include philanthropy in our lives. Most of us will not have the resources she did, but we can definitely still make an impact.

What motivates you to give?

buy essential oils

Leave a comment

Please note, comments must be approved before they are published