Roman Semiokhin: Philanthropy During the Pandemic

The general consensus is that there is no right or wrong way to give to worthy causes. Indeed, charity invites admiration and praise no matter how it is carried out.

However, this mindset overlooks the importance of value creation. Some philanthropists are inarguably more effective than others. It’s not just a question of how funds are given – it’s also how this money is used.

As with a successful business, philanthropy requires resources and time to achieve demonstrable results. It is for this reason that the world’s best philanthropists put their business acumen to good use, adopting a strategic approach to all of their philanthropic efforts.

Roman Semiokhin is an entrepreneur and philanthropist. A seasoned business leader, he has donated substantial sums as well as resources to environmental and social causes that are close to his heart. Approaching philanthropy with the same mindset as his business activities, Mr Semiokhin has responded quickly and effectively to natural disasters. A resident of Cyprus, he gave generously in the wake of devastating wildfires, donating USD $500,000 in funding for emergency relief efforts to support local communities.

Beyond providing funding swiftly, effective philanthropy also requires a targeted approach, tackling the root cause of the problem rather than merely treating the symptoms and empowering communities by providing them with the tools they need to deal with future challenges effectively.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, philanthropy came to the fore. From vaccine development to community support networks delivering groceries to vulnerable neighbours, philanthropy made a real difference in terms of both addressing inequities in local communities and flattening the curve, providing solutions that made a huge difference in people’s lives.

According to a report from Candid, in May 2020 alone, generous philanthropists pledged a staggering $10.3 billion.

As with any crisis, the pandemic was a tragedy. At the same time, however, it was also a very valuable learning opportunity. COVID-19 forced philanthropists to take a step back, strategising how they could do things more efficiently.

COVID-related lockdowns placed huge pressure on the global economy, with the world’s poorest bearing the brunt. Organisations supporting underserved communities had to mobilise swiftly to protect their assets, partnerships and networks from the effects of the pandemic in order to prevent all of their hard work from being reversed.

More encouragingly, the pandemic incited a collective willingness to dig deeper, with people giving on an unprecedented scale. As we emerge from COVID-19, many charities are doing so with a renewed sense of purpose, re-evaluating their priorities and practices and setting the stage for a new era of giving.

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