In 2017, Americans did something incredible. They donated $410.02 billion to charity and, for the first time ever, crossed the mind-blowing $400-billion mark. Achieving this was one of the most impressive displays of the nation’s joint efforts to help others and facilitate the overall growth of society by spreading the financial capital around. More importantly, the trend has continued as the U.S. residents proceed to showcase outstanding dedication to charitable contributions.
To truly understand why many of the donors participated, however, it is crucial to understand the importance of giving. More accurately, it is important to become aware of the many different reasons and byproducts associated with donations and volunteer work.
Help People in Need
The first and most relevant reason is people’s passion for helping those in need. In fact, the tendency to provide assistance to individuals who are struggling in life is instituted in human DNA. Hence why the donation figures continue to increase from year to year even when certain economic downturns take place, and rightly so. After all, people are usually prone to social interaction and connections with others. Well, in order to satisfy this need, many donors decide to give back and expand their horizons to include those who may not be as fortunate.
Enforces Personal Values
Although it is not the main reason for giving back, a lot of people do it to make a statement. There is absolutely nothing wrong with this as they are merely using their platform and capital to reinforce their personal views. Fortunately, doing so lets them impact the lives of others even when that may not be the primary intention. A great example here would be monetary donations made to individuals who might have been a part of large-scale injustice.
For instance, when the social movement “Time’s Up” came around in 2018, it declared solidarity with all women who have experienced sexual abuse, discrimination, and injustice in the past. In order to accumulate the money needed for legal representation and further pursuit of equality for them, people donated to a GoFundMe campaign hosted by the “Time’s Up” creators. Well, that campaign is now the most successful to ever take place on the platform after accumulating a whopping $22 million from thousands of donors who wanted to make a statement showcasing their support.
Find a Purpose Beyond a Professional Career
According to a seasoned investing expert, Gary di Silvestri, giving back makes it very easy to find a purpose going beyond one’s professional career. For example, Mr. di Silvestri was able to capitalize on his technical skills and dedication in order to reach the position of chief investment officer. While this certainly represents an incredible feat, it is solely focused on his professional career. So, to gain purpose going outside of his work, Gary di Silvestri also spends a fair share of his time contributing to others. He advises that doing so can help strengthen morals and ethical values that help the world become a better place.
Set a Precedent
One crucial benefit of giving back is the fact that it motivates others to follow suit. For example, when someone decides to spend their time volunteering, they will effectively set an example for their children, friends, family members, and even professional associates. That means that they could help jump-start a trend in their circle of acquaintances that will ultimately get more people involved. Obviously, the more individuals that participate in giving back, the higher the cumulative amount of donations and volunteering hours will be.
Reality Check That Promotes Humility
Charitable giving further carries an unparalleled ability to momentarily humble someone, says Gary di Silvestri. This takes place when people realize the common struggles of those who may not be as fortunate or live in areas where the economy or conditions are lagging. Seeing their lifestyle tends to have an eye-opening effect on the donors who suddenly become much humbler and more appreciative of their conditions. Besides, attaining this type of humility will help one achieve personal growth and maturity that may otherwise be outside of their reach. More Cumulative Happiness
Finally, going back to the idea of helping others, it is important to introduce the notion of “happiness inspiring happiness.” In translation, people who are willing to dedicate their hard-earned funds to others will effectively aid those individuals in their pursuits of comfort and peace. Eventually, someone’s donations could even help people become much happier as their conditions improve. Given how studies prove that this emotion tends to rub off on others, it is fair to assume that making people happy will also make the donor happy. Not to mention the sky-rocketing satisfaction levels that will be attained after doing a completely selfless act.
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