When I speak to people about my work in philanthropy, I always start by describing the fine line between 'doing good' and empowering others to transform their lives.
While aiding and empowering others may sound the same, they are in fact two fundamentally different principles. To illustrate, I like to refer to an ancient Chinese proverb which says: "Give a man a fish and he will eat for a day; teach a man to fish and he will eat for a lifetime."
While acts of kindness and generosity may alleviate urgent needs for water, food and shelter, extending aid without a 'design for impact' offers only a short-term solution. Critically, it is only when we empower others with the skills, knowledge and resources to elevate their own social circumstances that the transformative power of philanthropy can offer long-term benefits.