The Loadstar Foundation: seeking hapiness through philanthropy

Our Philosophy

The Lodestar Foundation was created to put into practice a set of five interrelated sequential principles:

  • First, the basic goal of all humans is happiness.
  • Second, happiness can only be found by identifying and striving to achieve a meaningful purpose for one's existence.
  • Third, one meaningful purpose is to endeavor to help one’s fellow man.
  • Fourth, although there are countless ways to help, ultimately the ability to help is limited by one’s time, money and other resources.
  • Fifth, by identifying and adopting a mission that is not focused on any specific field of interest and focusing instead on leveraging resources (that is, providing the most help with the most effective and efficient use of resources) and applying those resources to processes that affect the entire social sector, those resources can maximize the impact of helping others and thereby magnify the opportunity to achieve happiness.*

These principles form the basis upon which Lodestar’s mission has been developed.

For interesting commentary on the relationship between happiness and philanthropy click here.

To gain an understanding of financial, technological and intellectual philanthropy tools that can be used to contribute to community impact, visit the Learning by Giving Foundation Web site.

One specific way in which happiness and philanthropy are linked may relate to limiting the life of a foundation. The Beldon Fund and its founder, John Hunting, have advanced this proposition persuasively in the online publication Giving While Living: The Beldon Fund Spend-Out Story. In addition, GrantCraft is currently hosting a blog series entitled Making Change by Spending Down that focuses on how foundations decide to spend down their endowments and the critical issues that surface during the process. The posts seek to serve as a resource to aid philanthropists in the reflective process about spend-down decision-making.

Check out our projects, The Collaboration Prize and the Nonprofit Collaboration Database (in partnership with The Foundation Center).


*Of course, there are many ways funders who do focus on one or more fields of interest can and do maximize their impact and, indeed, Lodestar's mission would be futile if not for the vast majority of funders who support specific social causes.