Of course, you’re not supposed to donate to charity for selfish reasons. You’re supposed to be doing it for charitable reasons, to benefit others. But the reality is there are many reasons it actually benefits you to donate to charity.
Even if you don’t have much disposable income, donating just a small portion of your salary can make a massive difference to your life and the lives of others. Recently, there appears to be a trend of giving becoming more popular. And, fortunately, there are many benefits for you.
An article in O Magazine speaks to this exact point:
“When giving away your money, it helps to think of it as more than bits of paper and scraps of metal. That’s not a $20 bill you’re slipping into the envelope there. It’s a bagful of flour. It’s soup or a blanket or a bottle of medicine. That handful of quarters is a handful of rice. Giving away money can be the most selfish thing you do.
“With a father and four of his siblings dead from the same disease, I can look at the check I send to the Alzheimer’s Association and see something that is every bit as therapeutic as any new therapy that money may help create. I see new drug trials, and respite care, and a light against enveloping darkness. There is nothing more visceral than cynicism, nothing more brutish than greed. These are reflexes, common and unremarkable, of the undeveloped spirit. But charity in its finest sense is always an act of the creative imagination.”
You’ll feel rich
Giving to others increases your capacity to feel empathy toward others. It makes you realise that even if you don’t have much money for yourself, you have enough to share with others. Research has been done which shows that it’s more likely to be people who live in less well off areas who donate. Cleaning out your cupboard and donating your old clothes, buying food for the homeless or donating money to a reputable organisation, like Médecins Sans Frontières, will all make you feel rich.
You’ll be part of a community
Many of us feel lonely. We don’t have the type or number of friends we wish we did. We don’t have a community of loved ones who share our values around us. Volunteering your time for a worthy cause can truly make you feel like you belong to a community. You can do good for those who need assistance while putting you in contact with the people who feel the same way about helping people.
You’ll join a cause
Foundations and charities raise money for the work they do by accepting donations. It’s popular to raise this money by holding swimming, cycling or running events. Chances are good you already know how to do these. So, why not get involved? Tie up your laces or dive into becoming involved. And, as you know, exercising releases the types of endorphins which increase happiness. That’s a double win for you, right there.
You’ll set an example
If you have children, you’re likely always concerned about the example that you set for them. And the easiest way to always set a good example for them, is to show your interest and involvement in charitable giving. They’ll see your efforts to do good and be encouraged to do the same in their lives.
You’ll be grateful
When you donate sanitary pads to an organisation which collects for the less-privileged, you’ll feel grateful for your own access to sanitary products. When you donate old clothes to the victims of a fire or flood, you’ll be grateful for your home and full wardrobe. Simply put, donating goods to those in needs makes you appreciate what you have.
You’ll make important connections
If you’ve been considering a career change or even an industry change, you might make an important connection at a charitable event. Of course, that’s not the reason you’re participating. But it might be an added benefit you might not otherwise have considered. After all, it’s not what you know, but who you know when it comes to job hunting.
You’ll be eligible to apply for a tax break
And, finally, one of many people’s biggest incentives to donate to charity. The tax break. It’s important to remember three points to ensure you are able to claim from SARS.
- Make sure you donate to an appropriately registered organisation.
- Don’t donate more than 10% of your income each year.
- Get a receipt from the organisation.