5 reasons why charitable giving is important for your soul
Generally, when someone hears the word philanthropy names like Bill Gates, Warren Buffet, Mackenzie Scott, Robert Smith, and Ted Turner may appear in your head. But what is a philanthropist? Merriam-Webster defines the term philanthropist as, one who makes an active effort to promote human welfare : a person who practices philanthropy. This means that no matter what you previously may have had, if you give to a cause, you are a philanthropist too. In fact, philanthropists who give in smaller amounts more often are the ones who create the greatest collective impact.
But doing good doesn’t just create positive social ripple effects, it also is good for the individual who gives.
“I have found that among its other benefits, giving liberates the soul of the giver.” – Maya Angelou
It may be obvious how the charity helps the social collective. Volunteering at a shelter or donating to disaster relief or giving to your alumni association helps your cause get the essential funds and manpower that keeps them serving those in need. However, philanthropic giving is good for your mental and emotional well-being too. Below are 5 reasons why giving to charity is good for you.
1. Boosts your health
Recent medical studies have shown certain health benefits are associated with giving. These include:
• Decreases blood pressure
• Lessens depression
• Lowers stress levels
The satisfaction that comes from giving also improves self-esteem.
2. Lengthens your lifespan
Giving doesn’t just increase your health, it also lengthens the years of your life. A 2002 study from the University of Michigan revealed that individuals who were 55 and older who volunteered for two or more charities were 44% less likely to die over a five-year period compared to those who didn’t volunteer.
3. Makes you happy
Have you ever noticed how good you feel after giving? This is directly tied to the activation of areas in your brain that are associated with pleasure, trust, and connection with others. Scientists call this a “warm glow.” Altruistic acts also stimulate the brain to release serotonin, dopamine, and oxytocin. The release of these endorphins is also known as the “helper’s high.”
4. Endorses social connection
Giving is reciprocal. There is a saying that when you give, you get back tenfold. This comes from the philosophy that sociologists like Robb Willer have that by giving to others we are more likely to receive goodwill in the future.
The exchange of giving also promotes feelings of trust that increases the bonds we create with others and offers a sense of trust that comes from being part of a community. Giving makes people closer to us and we begin to feel a closeness with them.
5. Reduces your tax burden
Giving to almost any 501 charity is tax deductible at the end of the year. However, donations don’t always have to be cash. You can give away furniture, clothing, or even an unused car and claim the value of that item on your taxes, which in turn lessens the amount of taxable income and can add up to a significant amount of savings. For instance, if your annual salary is $85K and you donate $9K in donations and unwanted items to a charitable organization, your taxable salary has now dropped to $76K.
You don’t have to wait until big occasions like Giving Tuesday to begin expanding your philanthropic footprint. You can begin today by setting up your Impact Account or setting up a monthly gift in your existing Impact Account to your favorite charity. And now you have five good reasons to do so!
Founded in Philadelphia in 2019, Philanthropi is revolutionary charitable giving by democratizing philanthropy through its giving-as-a-service platform, allowing everyday donors to seamlessly support their favorite nonprofit organizations.
1 Per the National Philanthropic Trust