The decision to practice philanthropy can be the first step on a journey filled with more than its fair share of joy, gratitude and hope; “doing good” can and should “feel good.” Nothing wrong with that.
At the same time, deciding to practice philanthropy thoughtfully means setting out across strange waters. Consider that with an investment portfolio, there is, sooner or later, a reckoning stated in terms of terms of profit and loss. There is, in other words, a “bottom line.” At any given time, you know how you are doing, where you are.
With a grant portfolio, things are less certain. We are usually chasing some fuzzy thing called “making a difference” or “social impact,” and then there are emotional, spiritual and moral returns to consider. Such things are hard to articulate, difficult to achieve and challenging to measure.