Professional giving. This type of giving is also known as corporate giving. It’s easy to rattle off these reasons over my first cup of coffee. We give as a form of marketing. We give for tax benefits, for social recognition and out of tradition.
Marketing Giving. Philanthropy. We give with our name attached. We give through sponsorships and merchandising. We spend money to have our name printed on t shirts, banners, brochures, websites, and in commercials. We give to tie our name to a great cause or purpose.
Tax benefits. This is the most practical reason to give. We give money to organizations, charities and non profits and take a tax break for it. We give personally for this same reason.
Social Recognition. We give to get our name on a brick, a bench or listed in the sponsorship section of a program. We give for a reputation of being generous and involved. We want to be known in the circles that matter. We hope to have our name spoken and seen in as many places in as many ways as possible.
Tradition. We give because our parents gave. We give because its the right thing to do. We give because its just what we do. There may not even be a motivation behind this than just because.
Personal giving. Now on to the real reasons we give! These are internal reasons that come with internal rewards. They aren’t shared and bring little professional value. My hope for you as you read through these, is that you find a little bit of yourself in them.
Your Values. The things you invest in, really invest in; the things that pull at your heart, the things you want to be bigger than daily reality, they reveal your values. They reveal what you find important, what you believe in and what you’re passionate about. Whether you’re investing in troubled youth, abused women, recovering addicts, animals, music, low income housing or a whole myriad of worthwhile purposes. These may not be full of glory or social recognition but they are a direct reflection of who you are, part of your why.
Your happiness. At the end of every day, its your reflection you have to look at in the mirror. Some nights, as my mind slows down and I look back over my day, my week, and sort through my emotions, I find myself seeing the good and feeling the neglected. It’s during the quiet of the night life comes tumbling down. I am happy. I am happy, fulfilled, to be a part of something bigger than me. We all want to see change. Gandhi said it best when he said, “Be the change you wish to see in the world.” Be the change. I am happiest when I am the change. Knowing I make a difference, knowing I am storing treasures where no moth or rust can destroy, gives me peace. It makes me happy. When happiness comes from the inside and its not based on external factors, it’s real.
Money loses its value. When we don’t hold so hard onto something, it loses strength. If my priorities include giving, the accumulation of wealth isn’t my sole purpose of what I do every day. If my priority is solely the accumulation of wealth, money is the most important priority every single day. It leaves little room for other things that have value. We want money to lose its value. I want money to be a benefit, not the purpose of what I do. I want to share those benefits with other. I want to assign money its value, not have it dictate its value in my life.
Oh how I love to give! I love to give my time. I love to invest my money and resources into people who are being the change. Find that one thing, or two, that gets your fire going, that causes you to stand proud on a soap box, one that helps you find……..
If you liked what you read here, check out my previous blog entry on Your Why.