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If you’ve spent any time talking about or researching philanthropy, the odds are good that you’ve come across more than one philanthropy myth. These myths and misconceptions actively harm the nonprofit sector, so discussing and understanding them is important.

Philanthropy is a form of charitable giving. While it is commonly used interchangeably with charity, it shouldn’t be confused with this term. Philanthropy is the desire to help others through giving. However, there’s a twist. Philanthropists aim to make lasting change with their donations and thus often target the source of a problem.

Now that you understand philanthropy’s basic definition, let’s bust some common philanthropy myths.

Myth #1: It’s Not Worth Donating Small Amounts

All too often, you’ll hear about somebody wanting to donate – but opting not to because they can’t contribute much. This harms nonprofits, as the truth is that any donation, no matter how small, helps. Remember that all of these “little” donations can combine to create a sustainable foundation for the charity of your choice. Most organizations will tell you that the small donations are more consistent than the larger ones and thus are critical to their work.

Myth #2: Only Donate to Organizations with Low or No Overhead Cost

Here’s another common myth for you; people tend to believe that an organization with high overhead costs automatically runs poorly. In other words, people think that donating to these organizations is throwing their money away. While this may be true for some (corrupt) organizations, it is not a hard and fast rule. Overhead simply refers to the cost of running the organization. A higher overhead may occur because of the industry they are working with or the impact they’re trying to make. Consider visiting sites like Charity Watch if you’re worried about donating to a trustworthy organization. Charity Watch is one of many organizations that monitor nonprofits, calling our problematic behavior and highlighting dependable foundations.

Myth #3: Women Are Less Philanthropic

There’s this common misconception that women are generally less philanthropic than men. This myth likely originated when women didn’t have their own income. However, those days are over. According to research, women are more likely to give than men. Furthermore, their donations tend to be in larger quantities than their male counterparts.

Myth #4: Philanthropy Professionals Shouldn’t Be Paid

Last but not least, we have the belief that philanthropy professionals don’t deserve to be paid like their peers. This is an unsustainable belief. How can we expect talented experts to stay in an industry that doesn’t pay them? These professionals are good at what they do (running a nonprofit, getting donations, and helping others). They deserve to be paid for this work. Additionally, by offering payment, a nonprofit can ensure this talent will stick around and continue to help the organization.