How you can become a great philanthropist – in 10,000 steps


A ripple effect of benefits spreads out from each footstep

Have you ever wanted to be a philanthropist? How amazing would it be to invest in issues you care about?

When people think about philanthropy they often think about very wealthy people giving money to charity.

Philanthropy can be about financial investments into worthy causes, however it’s not just about money. It can also be about giving time, effort, wisdom or other things that help others.

While many people walk simply for the pleasure of it, it’s also possible to be a philanthropic walker, engaging in philanthropic walking that helps others.

There are lots of different ways in which you can become a great philanthropic walker, without investing or fundraising money. 

You could take someone on a walk who would not otherwise have had the opportunity, collect litter while hiking or trim nettles and brambles that are blocking a path. It all counts.

You could also walk Slow Ways. 

There are a number of ways you can use your Slow Ways walks to benefit others. You could:

  1. Inspire people to follow in your footsteps. Your example (and leadership) could encourage people to walk more. You might share updates on social media (For a great example, see Ingrina’s adventures during National Walking Month), write a story or tell people about your walk while having a sandwich
  2. Review the Slow Ways route, so other people can decide if they want to walk it or not
  3. Survey the Slow Ways route, so people can judge if they are able to walk it or not

Each of these things could support someone (or some people) to walk more. If you stop and reflect for a moment… how many benefits can you think of that doing that might trigger?

Sometimes we may feel like we don’t have anything to give, though. I like to remember that going for a walk is good for me, and what’s good for me can often be a good way to give to others too.

Walking can improve our mental health and in turn can result in us having better relationships with others. Walking can also improve our physical health, which not only benefits us, but in the longer term can take pressure off the NHS as a form of preventative healthcare. Sometimes giving to ourselves can be a form of philanthropy too.

And what’s the “How to be a great philanthropist – in 10,000 steps” about? 10,000 steps is about 8km of walking – a great distance for your first bimble as a Philanthropic Walker.

Sign up to review walks, and as always be sure keep in touch with the Slow Ways community on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram!

Dan Raven-Ellison
Dan is Slow Ways' Chief Exploration Officer and Founder. Dan's a Guerrilla Geographer, National Geographic Explorer and lives in Exeter.