Giving Back to Our Environment

The act and idea of giving can be thought of in a variety of ways. You give a gift to someone when it’s their birthday. Or you make a donation to your religious organization. Or you spend a few hours every Saturday at the local animal shelter. Being a giver in your community is different for different people. However, have you ever thought about giving back to the environment you live in? Developing a lifestyle of being environmentally conscious can be a gift not only to yourself and your neighbors, but for generations to come. [Read more…]

Why Giving Makes Us Happy

While receiving gifts can be exciting, research and experts say that the act of giving could actually make us feel better than receiving.

Studies show that when we get a gift or experience an act of generosity, our bodies release a hormone call oxytocin, which is associated with feelings of love and trust. The presence of this hormone also makes the recipient more likely to also act generously, which could explain the reason for “pay it forward” occurrences. So, it’s no surprise to read then, that numerous studies have shown that spending money on others or making a charitable donation actually makes us happier than when we are on the receiving end.  [Read more…]

Is There A Difference Between Charity and Philanthropy?

When talking about making a donation, either of time, money, or items like clothing or food, we often use the words charity and philanthropy interchangeably. We may say “Susan performed such an act of charity when she gave 10 winter coats to her local shelter,” or one may describe a friend as having a philanthropic nature. While both words do refer to the act of giving, there are some important distinctions to be made between the two.

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Leaving the World Better Than We Found It

“Try to leave this world a little better than you found it.” Robert Baden-Powell, Founder, Boy Scouts Association

We all experience times that specifically touch our hearts and evoke a certain level of empathy and concern for our fellow human. Some are particularly disheartened by the thought of animals without homes, many experience heartache when they pass a homeless person on the street, and others find a special kind of sympathy for children undergoing medical treatments at such a young age. Personal experiences in our lives often draw us close to a specific philanthropic cause and give us a unique drive to improve the circumstances of others.

Even though we have such strong emotional responses to the needs of others, finding ways to help remedy situations, especially the suffering of others can be challenging to say the least. We all can identify and sympathize with these problems we encounter but need to take the extra step toward resolving the issue and finding a path forward.

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Driving Digital Donations

Between crowd sourcing, social media advocacy, and mobile giving, the traditional funding style for nonprofits is transforming rapidly into the new digital age. While traditional techniques for gathering funding are still tried and true, the importance of exploring additional avenues for raising funds cannot be understated.

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What motivates individuals to donate and what doesn’t?

We see it at the end of every year. Pictures of children living in abject poverty. Heart wrenching stories of mothers desperately trying to help their families. But according to an article recently published by the Wall Street Journal, researchers are finding that the emotional appeal isn’t as effective as others to inspire people to donate.

Publicizing contributions from well-known donors.

Research showed that listing the name of a recognized and respectable foundation that gave matching funds improved chances of individuals donating by 22 percent. It also served as a quality check for people who often do not have time to research nonprofits they would like to donate to.

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