Stephen Samuelian is a construction industry entrepreneur with decades of experience. He often mentors young professionals, many of whom are eager to share their newfound wealth with charitable organizations. While giving, says Samuelian, is a noble aspiration, the donor must consider the stability of the recipient non-profit before writing a check.
Community Blog Online: We are very pleased that you could break away from your schedule to speak with us today.
Stephen Samuelian: I needed the break and welcome the opportunity!
Community Blog Online: We’d like to talk about charitable giving from the perspective of a donor…
Stephen Samuelian: I’ll be glad to answer any questions I can.
Community Blog Online: We understand that you’ve been quoted as saying that you choose your charities like you choose your business partners.
Stephen Samuelian: That’s true.
Community Blog Online: Are you worried about sounding a little cold or that you are giving just for show?
Stephen Samuelian: Not at all and let me explain why. There are so many organizations out there that need funding. However, many of these well-intended community service programs tend to fail quickly. This is because they lack leadership, vision, and goals.
Community Blog Online: So you’re saying they are not disciplined enough to handle donated funds?
Stephen Samuelian: I am saying many of the individuals involved with these organizations have little in the way of operational experience.
Community Blog Online: Meaning the charity is disorganized?
Stephen Samuelian: Perhaps. And, as a businessman, I can tell you that a lack of clear vision, a solid program and measurable results can result in funds being spent unwisely.
Community Blog Online: That actually makes a lot of sense.
Stephen Samuelian: I believe the charity must be organized and disciplined in order to make donations go as far as possible.
Community Blog Online: What do you look for in a charitable organization?
Stephen Samuelian: Of course I want to make sure that their goals are in line with my personal beliefs. After that, I like to dig deep and make sure that they have competent management and solid policies in place.
Community Blog Online: What types of policies?
Stephen Samuelian: I am looking to see that they are both collecting and distributing funds ethically and efficiently.
Interviewing Experts: Should my charity of choice give special decision-making consideration to large donors?
Stephen Samuelian: If you’ve invested in the right charity, your voice will echo their purpose. I don’t think that these organizations should have to bow to their donor’s personal wishes or interest.
Community Blog Online: Why is that?
Stephen Samuelian: I want to know that the organization has clear goals in mind. I do not want to give money to someone that flip-flops halfway through a project. This could be devastating to those in need and is also a huge waste of time and other resources.
Community Blog Online: You’ve definitely given our readers something to think about today.
Stephen Samuelian: I certainly hope so. Giving is something that those who are fortunate enough to be able to do so should with open arms. But, of course, to those organizations who will and have the capabilities to make a real difference.
Community Blog Online: We thank you for your time today.
Stephen Samuelian: I look forward to visiting with you again soon. Thank you for the opportunity.