I’ve devoted most of my career to giving back. I was one of the first social entrepreneurs on the scene creating an apparel brand that planted a tree for every item we sold, paid a living wage and provided childcare to our manufactures while using only sustainable and eco materials. However, giving back was not where my story began. I started my career in high-end fashion where I nearly lost my soul trying to mass-produce things that destroy the planet and disregard human rights. I knew I wanted to make a difference, but knowing how to do that was a whole different story.
How do we give in the greatest way possible? How do we give when we don’t have much money or a team to help us with giving back? Most importantly, how do we know that what we do actually makes a difference?
A few years ago I met a man who impacted greatly how I think about giving and significantly changed how I run my company’s giving programs.
He has not only devoted his life to making a difference, he is also creating and funding groundbreaking ideas that are changing the way we live. His name is Ibrahim AlHusseini and he is one of the world’s top impact investors. As an impact investor, AlHusseini made the choice to make his fortune by only investing in businesses that impact social and environmental change, and he speaks all over the world about the power of giving.
How do we give when we don’t have much money or a team to help us with giving back? Most importantly, how do we know that what we do actually makes a difference?
What is most fascinating to me about his philosophy, however, is that you don’t need a fortune to make a difference and that you can make a fortune while making a difference.
Since I find what he does so effective and his concepts powerful, I recently sat down with AlHusseini in Los Angeles and asked him to give five simple ways we can all make a difference with very little money.
Here is what AlHusseini had to say:
1. Ask What Matters
The first step in giving is finding what matters most to you. You won’t be inspired to give boldly if you aren’t passionate about the cause.
2. Think About Impact
Even a very small amount of money can have a huge impact if used correctly. As a venture capitalist and impact investor, I believe in investing in the future we want to have. You can invest even a small amount of money in a company doing good things and see a return. I talk often about the power of the micro loan. The phenomenon of micro loans has changed people’s lives globally and it does not cost a large amount to do these.
3. Get Social
Use social media to spread influence. Using social media has an extremely low cost and extremely high impact if used efficiently. It can start revolutions, spread awareness and grow new ideas.
4. Give Your Time
Most of us forget just how valuable our time is. We can give our time and do just as much good, if not more, than when we give our money. I believe in empowering our youth who truly are the future. If we can spend time with this generation and influence them positively, then we are doing a great service to the world.
We can give our time and do just as much good, if not more, than when we give our money.
5. Create The Next Big Thing
I started my first business from my dorm room. I had an idea that made a difference and because I cared and there was a need for what I was creating big things happened. We all have ideas and we can all listen to our inspiration and solve problems.
To learn more about Ibrahim AlHusseini and his work in impact investing and philanthropy visit his website here or follow him on Twitter, Instagram and on Facebook.
Image via Sara Forrest