Understanding the Giver, their Gifts and How They Impact Health and Social Care, Together

February 7/2020

by DLSPH Communications

The new program in Impactful Giving at DLSPH will examine the relationship between givers, their gifts and their larger societal impact.

“We believe that there is a unique opportunity to look beyond the donation of financial resources by philanthropists, and explore innovative ways in which giving time, ideas, talent, connections and love could improve our health and our society while contributing to a flourishing planet,” says Alex Jadad, Professor at DLSPH and the new program’s director.

Alex Jadad, Professor at DLSPH and the new program’s director

The program intends to understand the givers, their motivations and expectations when giving. Program researchers and innovators will focus on five groups of givers: Philanthropists, volunteers, those who donate blood and organs, and caregivers.

“There are opportunities at all levels. From rethinking philanthropy and the role of donors in setting, shaping and assessing the effects of their gifts; through reinventing the relationship between givers and the recipients of the gifts; to creating entirely new approaches to boost and evaluate each of the steps of the giving process,” says Jadad.

Not-for-profit organizations rely heavily on large gifts from a small pool of donors. And yet, the fundraising sector is experiencing extreme donor-fatigue, says Jadad. The program hopes to advise philanthropists on how they can maximize the impact of their gift, regardless of type and size, and optimize societal benefits.

“One of the program’s priorities is to align the interests and desires of those who give, those who manage the gifts, and those who receive them, to avoid the disappointment that emerges from efforts that are enabled through donations,” says Jadad.

They also hope to uncover fresh ways for new generations of givers to learn to give, become involved in the projects they support and understand their contributions’ potential health and social benefits. Through joyful experiential learning opportunities, the program will guide new, emerging and established givers to imagine new possibilities to make a difference.

“The new program should be viewed as an invitation by any person or organization interested in rebooting what and how we give,” says Jadad. “With the insights, attitudes, skills, connections and partnerships that DLSPH has made possible, we are now ready to join forces with those eager to explore and promote new ways for givers and their gifts, of all types and sizes, to make the world a better place for all, together.”

“The time has come to reimagine giving, in all its forms, and to explore novel ways in which generosity could improve our collective ability to tackle the new public health challenges of the 21st century,” says DLSPH Dean Adalsteinn Brown.