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Living and Giving:

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A New Kind of Philanthropy

By Leo Ramirez Posted on February 23, 2016

By Ryan Surber, Encast Co-Founder and CFO

At Encast, we want to convince the world that people don’t have to be wealthy to be philanthropists. We can all start giving early in our lives and our careers and have an immediate impact on charitable causes. Cumulatively, if we make this a broad movement, our effect on non-profits and various efforts for social improvement will be profound.

And that’s at the heart of what we hope to achieve at Encast: a change in the way people think about giving and philanthropy. We think we can turn giving into more of a lifestyle for everyone. I don't think that's a marketing plan. I don't think giving is something that we do to show off. It's something that we think about when we go to bed at night, and that we think about when we wake up in the morning. I see it as an awareness that maybe we don't have if we're not doing something to give back to causes in our community, whether that's our small-town in Iowa, or whether that's a global community.

Philanthropy can be an intimidating word and it can make people believe that giving is reserved for only individuals of high net worth, who can afford to share some of their resources. But there's no reason why the twenty five-year-old that wants to give $20 a month shouldn't also experience the same benefits, that same sense of real contribution at the end of their day when they support the causes and the people that they care about. You simply don’t have to give hundreds of thousands of dollars or millions to be a philanthropist. Regardless of who you are and how much you earn, your personal giving over time can make a difference, which is what we are facilitating at Encast.

We have this notion that giving needs to be at the center of everything we do as people. We want to make it embedded in a person’s lifestyle. We see it as our job at Encast to be able to create experiences and opportunities for anybody to be able to give back on regular basis, give back financial resources, give back in-kind donations, and give back through volunteering. We think success at this revolves around being a little bit more intentional about how we give.

The way we see our mission is to bring awareness to how you give, and how do you support causes that you care about. I don't always pay attention sometimes to the causes that I should be monitoring, but if I am consistently giving and I’m asked to give, and if I set up a methodology on why I should give, I find that I do notice. Maybe it’s just ten bucks a month, but if I'm doing it intentionally, all of a sudden I start noticing people that are out there trying to do good, causes that need to be taken care of, and it becomes an awareness thing for me, and really helps me become the person I want to be in my community.

And so with Encast, I think a lot of our hope is that we can take those barriers to entry to a philanthropic lifestyle and reduce them, or maybe even make them disappear, to allow anybody to take that dare. You don't need to worry where you're at now, just give back, create that lifestyle, and create that self-awareness in your life and watch, just what's going to happen.

You’ll be surprised at the difference just one person, you, can make in the world.



Author: Leo Ramirez

Leo is the co-founder and CEO of Encast, an organization dedicated to improving the way CSR professions create, manage, and measure CSR programs. Leo is passionate about the role that culture plays in business success. Leo has launched and managed social ventures, lead multi-disciplinary teams, and built solid relationships with civic and corporate leaders. His 25-year career has spanned executive management, business development, consulting, nonprofit management, technical support and engineering positions with Southwest Key Programs, Oracle, Sun Microsystems, Coremetrics, Trilogy and Apple.

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