How to develop yourself as a leader in philanthropy

Developing leaders in the sector is crucial to ensure its sustainable growth
To be a leader in philanthropy means to bring about change, to be a vehicle for development, and a source of inspiration for others. One can become a leader in philanthropy by developing self-management, effective communication skills, having a vision, and being involved.

The number of philanthropic organizations in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has amounted to 590 organizations, according to the latest statistics issued by the Ministry of Social Affairs in the Kingdom in 1433 AH. Although the number calls for a sense of pride, there remains a pressing need to develop leaders in this sector to ensure its sustainable growth.

 

So what is philanthropic work?

Philanthropy revolves around work that leaves a positive impact on a large scale and does not depend on achieving any financial return or profit. Its sole objective is to provide a range of humanitarian services to individuals in need by creating a favorable change in their communities.


Why pursue leadership in philanthropy?

Philanthropic work is the product of the inherent goodness of individuals and societies, and although it is an innate tendency in humans, it requires sound leadership to create impact at the societal level. As is the case in other fields of work, in order to achieve the desired goal in an effective and sustainable manner, every leader needs to hone their skills consistently.


How do you become a leader in philanthropy? 

If you want to be a philanthropic leader, here are some characteristics that you need to develop:


  • To have the ability to manage oneself. Leaders lead by example. If you are committed and responsible, any team under your leadership will follow suit and vice versa. 
  • To have effective communication skills, successful philanthropic leaders have the ability to explain to volunteers their tasks succinctly and clearly, and to inspire enthusiasm and optimism in them. They are also required to communicate with the disadvantaged groups of society and listen to their problems calmly, patiently, and respectfully.

  • To have a clear vision for the future that is understood by others, and to be able to set concrete, achievable and measurable goals.

  • To be aware, familiar, and involved with the philanthropic institutions in your community so that you can benefit from and contribute to the opportunities these institutions offer.

An overview of the philanthropic sector in Saudi Arabia:

To help you achieve this awareness, here is an overview of three leading institutions in the field:

One of the most prominent relief centers around the world, an integrated philanthropic work system characterized by social innovation that brings about change in the lives of disadvantaged communities and helps those affected by environmental disasters and pandemics around the world.

A unique project, concerned with removing landmines in Yemen, which constitute a major obstacle to social and economic development efforts, and expose citizens to dangers, generation after generation.

An association that seeks to spread the culture of volunteer work and promote the concept of good citizenship among members of society by organizing volunteer efforts between volunteers and beneficiaries, spreading and developing a culture of volunteer work and instilling the concept of initiative and a sense of responsibility.


To be a leader in philanthropy means to bring about change, to be a vehicle for development, and a source of inspiration for others. If you want to take the next step in your philanthropic leadership journey by establishing your own organization, keep an eye out for the opening registration of the Non-Profit Sector Skills Training Program, which offers specialized courses designed specifically for practitioners in the non-profit sector to enable them to enhance their organization's performance effectiveness and efficiency.

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