Why Do We Give?

Giving to charities or non-profit organizations is something millions of people do every year. But why do we do it? Is it just to make us feel better about ourselves? Do we feel guilty for being more fortunate than so many other people around the world? Or are we, as human beings, naturally altruistic? The truth is, there usually isn’t just one reason people give away their hard-earned income. Rather, it’s a combination of several reasons. And yes, some of these reasons are for self-benefit, but that doesn’t make giving any less charitable.

To Help Others Less Fortunate

The primary reason many people donate money to charity is to help those less fortunate than themselves. This may seem obvious, but in principle it actually reveals something compassionate about humanity. Many people who are in a position of wealth look at others who, for whatever reason, are struggling, and their natural instinct is to help. Some of the wealthiest Americans donate large portions of their income simply as a way to redistribute their wealth to those who did not win the “genetic lottery.” This instinct to give is natural, but it is not the only reason people donate money.

To Better Ourselves

Not only is giving to those in need a natural instinct, giving at all just makes us happier. It feels good to be generous. There’s also a more tangible incentive for giving: tax deductions. This is the primary reason large corporations donate their profits to charity. It can also be beneficial to individuals. Giving as a way to make yourself feel better and possibly save some money in the long term may feel like taken a selfish benefit in what should be a selfless act. However, the truth is, incentivising charitable giving is the best way to make sure people keep giving. Our human instinct to help others only takes us so far.

To Set an Example for Others

Another reason people give is to set an example for others, often those who are privileged like themselves, or even wealthier. If people remain happy and successful while still giving money to charity, they prove that doing so is a good investment in their own well-being and the overall well-being of the world at large. Even if you can’t afford to give as much as others, simply advertising the fact that you give what you can can inspire others to do the same.

Another Kind of Donation

For some people, time is more valuable than money. For others, it’s the opposite. Donating is a great thing for people who can afford it, but sometimes donating your time can be just as beneficial for those who can’t. Volunteering is another great way to encourage the spirit of giving.

If you’re looking for an interesting volunteer opportunity, Caritas Smile offers trips to the Dominican Republic and Honduras to assist in educating and empowering local women and children. We also accept donations for those who can’t spare the time to volunteer and for those who would like to volunteer but require funds for travel. Apply for one of our trips today or check out some of the great work that we do.

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