We define philanthropy as the giving of resources in an engaged and strategic way for maximum impact and in a tax efficient manner. It can include the giving of money, assets, time, talent, voice and one’s social capital. We believe in the power of philanthropy as a great social connector and the source of many great opportunities.

City Philanthropy

A Wealth of Opportunity

Five essential questions every philanthropist should ask themselves

May 31st 2017

The Pioneers for Change Fellowship pilot had a vision to empower a network of talented, passionate individuals and global citizens who shared a conviction to create meaningful positive change in the world. Some 18-months on, we carried out an impact review and discovered 86% of participants reported the programme had impacted their life and activities positively.

There are always conflicting agendas and objectives, however, there is much to be observed, as the Pioneers for Change pilot demonstrated, from bringing diverse, yet like-minded people together who have a willingness to listen, learn, and exchange.

Purposeful, pragmatic and energised thinking inspires ‘good’ actions - born from inventiveness, leadership, social justice, entrepreneurship and courage – stepping out of one’s comfort zone to do some thing, which will make things better.

What flourishes is innovation, confidence and conscious actions; revolutionary ways of doing things; creation and investment of responsible wealth that creates more inclusive economic prosperity.

We believe that better questions lead to better answers and here are five questions to consider and maximise your potential to be a force for good:


1.   What are some moral issues that rock your socks? What makes your blood boil or your heart sing? Start here.

Engage in an active search of your moral compass and for values that can guide the construction of greater societies. As a strong grounding for guiding life and moral decisions, start with dignity, well-being and integrity.

2.   How can you respond voluntarily?

Educate yourself. Work on your own habits and beliefs. Is there a local presence? Take action in your community. Go to a meeting, protest or demonstration. Volunteer your time. Donate.

3.   What is a viable action for you right now? In the next 6 months?

Ask yourself ‘what can I do right now to move this forward?’ Consider what is your minimum, viable action you can do today. Action creates reaction – just do one thing.

4.   What is the risk of being out of your comfort zone?

There's actually a lot of science that explains why it's so hard to break out of your comfort zone, and why it's good for you when you do it. Take small steps and you’ll be more productive. Harness your creativity and unexpected changes will become easier to deal with, which also means moving beyond your boundaries in future becomes easier.

5.   In 100 years, what would you like your legacy to be?

Most people would like to truly make a difference; to leave an imprint on this world and to leave behind something that can make the future a little brighter. How do you want to be remembered? Have you experienced something that caused you to change your entire belief system?

Clarity of purpose, the ability to learn and self assess, are all a part of effective leadership. Impact - whether ethical, social or environmental - is something that every organisation and person generates. There is immense value in trying and doing. All of us are human beings trying to figure out how to be safe, happy and live a meaningful life. It’s more than simply surviving. It’s a question of how to empower yourself and others to thrive. Ultimately, a positive future is ours to shape.


Leesa Muirhead is Director of Adessy Associates, a consultancy and advisory firm, which equips organisations with sustainability / social responsibility (CSR) strategy, management and communications to (im)prove value, competitive advantage and positive impact. We are proudly B Corp certified. Leesa is a Fellow of the RSA, an accredited coach, a qualified partnership broker and sits on the Advisory Board of OneSqin which is the world’s first business to donate 100% of profits to charities that help girls into life-changing education.

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