What to Do if Your Passion for Charitable Giving Has Flagged

Recognizing that giving has seasons and that change takes time can help restore your sense of purpose. Then consider four steps to ramp up your giving spirit.

The sun shines behind a paper heart as one person gives the heart to another, only their hands showing.
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Runners feel it, so do dieters, writers and musicians. It’s that feeling you get when you’ve been pushing hard, visualizing your goals and then feel the energy drop. You know the mission is just as worthy as ever, but you’re tired, and the motivation just isn’t there. You hit a plateau or drop off altogether. Sustaining commitment for the long haul requires a different kind of energy and a different kind of thinking from what powered you up in the first place.

Sometimes, being a charitable giver can feel the same way. Whether it’s the response to an acute crisis like a wildfire, the recognition of a long-standing injustice like the racial reckoning after George Floyd’s murder or the ongoing effort to chip away at complex challenges like educational achievement for disadvantaged children, the initial passion can flag.

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Catherine Crystal Foster
Vice President, Advisory, Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisors

Catherine Crystal Foster is vice president of the Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisors (RPA) Advisory team. In her role, she provides strategic guidance across program areas for families, foundations, and corporations to accelerate social impact. Prior to joining RPA, she served as CEO and co-founder of Magnify Community, where she worked with Silicon Valley philanthropists to make bold and catalytic investments in the community. Catherine has led and advised philanthropic and nonprofit organizations for more than 20 years.