Can giving away your wealth as a philanthropist possibly be more difficult than creating your wealth in the first place? The answer according to seasoned philanthropist Tej Kohli is a resounding "yes". In Rebuilding You: The Philanthropy Handbook Tej Kohli sets out to share the wisdom that he has garnered during his two-decade transition into philanthropy so that would-be philanthropists can avoid common mistakes and maximize their own impact.
Tej Kohli says that you don’t need to have the wealth of Bill Gates, Warren Buffet or Michael Milken to be able to make a difference as a philanthropist and that anyone with wealth can help others. But many of the formulas upon which would-be philanthropists have built their wealth simply will not work as they start to give their wealth away. To succeed as a philanthropist, you must also be ready to change your analysis and how you think. You must rebuild you.
In Rebuilding You Tej Kohli conveys the wisdom of his own experiences across ten themed sections to address questions such as: Why after working so hard to become a success would you pivot into a brand-new career based on giving your wealth away to others? Do you need an eponymous charitable foundation? Should you back a cause célèbre or support a little-known and unmet need? And should you focus on your local community or impoverished nations?
According to Kohli the world is awash with unmet medical needs that it is simply not economic for the commercial sector to solve. Governments are confined to the issues most prominent with their own voters. NGOs play a major role in creating global coordination across major humanitarian and global health issues, but even the largest NGOs cannot extend their footprint into every community that needs help and every challenge that needs an urgent solution.
Tej Kohli advocates for would-be philanthropists to capitalize from living during a time of rapid technological progression by embracing and pioneering new frontier and combination technologies to devise new solutions to these needs that were not available before. Would-be philanthropists must also decide how to balance the need to develop universal solutions that could eventually help millions with the need to make interventions into people’s lives now.
Rebuilding You also examines the calculus of focusing philanthropic efforts on giving money to existing charities versus direct grassroots activism; and how it is the third world that is most urgently in need of new solutions - but the first world where those solutions are often born. Tej Kohli also examines the intrinsic value of sharing great stories to surface new partnerships and build new coalitions and culminates in a handy "Top 10 Tips For New Philanthropists".
Rebuilding You: The Philanthropy Handbook is essential reading for any aspiring philanthropist. It provides a useful framework for synthesizing new ideas and for plotting a journey even when the final destination is not yet clear. The accompanying stories about Tej Kohli’s own journey are highly personal, emotive and informative, and serve as a stark reminder that becoming a philanthropist is not about you, but about what you can do for your fellow humans.