It Takes Guts to Give and Here is How You Can Too

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As it happens, the people of the United States have always been a pretty generous group, giving at notably high rates, at both the individual and business level. When we think of givers, we tend to think of them as giving from the heart. But I like to focus on another major bodily organ.

I would like to focus on giving from the gut.

It takes intestinal fortitude to give. You don’t only need a spirit of generosity, you need a spirit of courage. Courage to trust that your funds will be used properly and effectively. Courage to trust that what you give will not be lost. Courage to trust that you’re choosing the right cause, charity or recipient to devote your resources and attention. Courage to actually stand out in your community.

Giving: An Overview of Its Positive Aspects

For one who’s never donated before, it may be difficult to look over one’s budget and arrive at the decision that some of it should be donated to a favorite charity or effort. However, when you take a big picture point-of-view, the positives far outweigh the negatives. Check this out — when you’re giving, you’re…

  • Providing Help to Others
  • Contributing to the Common Good or Social Good
  • Expanding on the Challenges You Can Conquer
  • Improving Your Own Standing and Well-being
  • Highlighting an Important Need in Your Community

For all of these reasons (and more), you should consider giving (and generously) to a cause that you support. Ideally, the cause will indeed be close to your heart. Perhaps you have a friend or relative with a specific medical condition that needs more research, a place in your community that could use some improvement, or neighbors/colleagues who are in clear need of support.

Martin Luther King, Jr., made the point that all of us can be great, because all of us can be of service. The sky is truly the limit when it comes to finding worthwhile causes to support. The first step is deciding which one to support, how often, and at what level of regularity and/or intensity.

For example, one of the organizations that I support is the Human Rights Campaign (HRC). As a Black Male in America, I see the injustices and disparities that proliferate within our communities. The unbalance of basic equal rights such as life, liberty, protection, and equality can sometimes seem more of a luxury. I give to HRC on a monthly basis through an EFT. As an individual giver, I am able to donate to a cause that I feel passionate about, because all people are created equal and should be treated as such.

Why Philanthropy is Good for YOU

The obvious answer is that being generous provides help to those who are in need. However, other strong reasons support the acting of giving generously, ones which can inure to the benefit of both you and your business.

Balance: Giving to charitable causes grants your life a sense of balance. You’re not only focusing on bringing money in; you’re focusing on sending it back out. You’re allowing it to circulate, in other words, which promotes a sense of movement and flow, as opposed to a monetary atmosphere that’s at risk of growing sluggish or stuck.

Drive: While a particular disease or economic condition may not be solved overnight, achieving smaller goals, such as constructing a park or raising capital for a specific form of research, is certainly realistic in the short-term. In addition to the direct fruits of the accomplishment itself, there will come a sense of drive. Achieving goals only heightens one’s drive to achieve more goals, while bringing others into the project at hand. Nothing motivates like achieving, and giving is ALWAYS an available way to achieve.  

Ethos of Service: Everyone on this planet is burdened by struggles, in some form or another. These struggles would be unbearable without an ethos of service in the cultures that surround them. In other words, where there is struggle, there is also the opportunity to provide relief. If you step up as the provider, people will not only recognize your efforts, they will take them into consideration when deciding whether or not to do business with you. As for individual givers, the “return on investment,” or ROI, will come in the form of the satisfaction of knowing that you helped someone today; a feeling that is unlike any other.

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Above all else, being a giver means being exceptional, which is exactly why it takes guts. It’s easy to be mediocre, going with the flow, and never standing out. It’s hard to step away from the pack and state (at whatever volume one decides), “I choose to give!”

It’s not only hard because of its inherent social distinctions, but because it involves uncertainty in terms of the rewards.

However, if one chooses to devote oneself to a life of giving, the rewards will most certainly accumulate for oneself and one’s community as one’s lifetime unfolds.