Does Being Generous Pay?

phi·lan·thro·py  /fəˈlanTHrəpē 

noun philanthropy

the desire to promote the welfare of others, expressed especially by the generous donation of money to good causes.

I would like to think that philanthropy is much more than giving money. Philanthropy is about being intentionally generous, to benefit others. When someone gives of their skills, knowledge and time to benefit others, that also is a philanthropic action.

Acts of generosity can produce feelings of satisfaction. The warm smile we give to a stranger. The patience and understanding we show to others when we’re under stress. Or when we contribute our time, knowledge, used items, or money to an organization. To be generous is to extend our thoughts and actions beyond our immediate needs.

Being generous is an act of compassion and part of our being. Taking care of our neighbour not only ensures their survival. It ensures the survival of our community.

Generosity can take time and energy, but the power of generosity has its benefits. It’s central to the human experience. Did you know that being generous is a human survival response. Generosity reduces feelings of isolation. Generosity also increases feelings of connectedness. Feeling connected makes us feel valued.

Let Me Count The Ways

With so many options to get involved, it’s sometimes difficult to know when to give or what to give. Most of us give around December when we’re feeling especially generous.

To be generous, is to be a philanthropist of your time, your knowledge, your resources. And there are so many not-for-profits that could use your generosity year-round.

Most not-for-profits need volunteers to support annual events, or ongoing regular activities. Getting involved as a volunteer improves your mental well-being. It also improves your community and contributes to your skill development.

If you don’t have time to volunteer, consider making a donation to a cause you care about. Not-for-profits accept donations online, and through the mail.

What We Value

If you’re not sure what cause to support, think of what you like to spend your money on, or how you spend your leisure time. Life coach and journalist Caro Handley put it this way – “Your surroundings is money turned into goods. What does your surroundings say about you?”

Are You Able to Give and Receive?

Sometimes we are lavish with giving but find it hard to accept help or gifts. If this is you, work on feeling comfortable accepting acts of generosity from others. Believe that you deserve to feel connected and cared for. Let them be generous with you and connect with your circle, to make a difference.

To feel worthy and believe you have value is to believe that you make a difference. You are a source of strength for others and they in return are part of the support system that is there for you. We are not islands; we are human ecosystems connected through shared beliefs.

What does philanthropy mean to you?

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