We are bombarded from every side with requests to give our time and money to support worthy organizations.  Considering the overwhelming number of requests we receive, we begin to question why we are supporting those organizations.  What is the motivation? 

Other than a “love of humanity” (or the Jewish people), what drives our giving?  Is it the sense of responsibility that our parents instilled in us?  Or perhaps our religious upbringing? Is it because friends or business associates asked us to contribute to their cause? Are we motivated by a personal tragedy or experience?  Or the desire to give back to our alma maters? The reasons are endless but, overall, passion drives our philanthropy. When you discover your passion, you give more freely.  Your enthusiasm is compelling and contagious, and aligning your giving with your passion is the most joyous privilege.

I have always been a supporter of Israel but, through one experience, I discovered it had become a real passion — I attended an Israel Defense Forces (IDF) boot camp. While I was training side-by-side with the real soldiers of the IDF,  I experienced firsthand how difficult their jobs were and saw how many of their immediate needs weren’t  being met by the IDF.  That trip changed me forever.

Upon returning to the States, I became involved with a non-profit organization that raised money for the soldiers.  I created a charity golf tournament to help them.  Through that experience, I realized that red tape and expenses meant fewer funds and more delays in getting items to meet the soldiers’ immediate needs.  I knew that I could make an impact by getting vital supplies to them right away.  Fast forward 10 years.  With the help of some friends, I have taken my passion to a higher level and I now serve as board chairman of Helping Israel Fund.

We raise money to supply vital non-military items to the men and women who serve to defend Israel and underwrite all administrative costs.  In addition to providing winter wear and water backpacks for the soldiers, we provide scholarships to soldiers from disadvantaged socioeconomic backgrounds and Torah libraries for IDF units.  Other philanthropic individuals have seen the difference that we are making and have generously contributed to crucial projects, such as our widows and orphans fund, which helps the families of fallen soldiers during a very devastating time in their lives.

I am sure those in the Wexner network are also very intentional in your philanthropy. May you find your passion so that your philanthropy becomes more meaningful to you and to those who need caring, nourishing, developing and enhancing.

Glen Golish, a Wexner Heritage alum (Boca Raton 07), is President of Golish Financial Group.  Since 1989, he has assisted high net worth individuals, business owners and families reach their maximum wealth potential for the benefit of their future generations and favorite charities. Glen is an alum of Drexel University, LeBow School of Business.  He can be reached at glen@grgolish.com.