Giving Out Loud

Father and daughter with ipad

You may not feel like it, but when you live generously, you are an influencer. Perhaps not a 2M YouTube viewers influencer, but your donations model your values, and people are watching: Co-workers, friends, family – not least of whom are children and young people. When they see you give to charity, and know that it aligns with your values, they are learning how to be generous, too.

When they see you give to charity, and know that it aligns with your values, they are learning how to be generous, too.

Ask a generous person why they choose to give their time or money and I promise you that nearly everyone will tell you about someone in their life who modeled generosity and told them about why they gave to charity. Now, I understand that you might believe giving should be done privately, and I am not suggesting the trumpets need to blow each time you make a gift, but don’t underestimate the positive impact of making donations.

Giving Out Loud Grows New Givers

When people see you give and hear the story of why, several wonderful things happen. They discover something new about who you are, and your relationship grows a bit deeper. They see and hear about the values that drive your generosity, and may choose to live by them as well. They learn about charities they may not be familiar with, which might ignite their own passion for the cause. And when you influence the people around you to be generous, science shows that you’re actually promoting a healthier, happier lifestyle.

Giving Out Loud Grows Peace of Mind

According to a recent survey[1], a startling 30 per cent of Canadians cited financial stress as a larger worry than their overall health.  Many people think that to reduce financial stress they need more money, and giving to charity means less money in their pocket. But giving generously forces us to reevaluate what is truly important to us, and the act of giving promotes empathy and teaches gratitude. I have worked with many generous people in the past 20 years, and they almost never tell me about money stress in their lives. Conversely, I often hear my acquaintances who aren’t giving to charity complain that finances are stressing them out. As an influencer of generosity, you have an opportunity to model a positive alternative to greed and fear by encouraging people around you to make a gift to charity. They might be pleasantly surprised at how much better they feel.

Giving Out Loud Grows Happiness

And speaking of feelings, giving really does make people feel good. I have lost count of the number of times I have heard people tell me about the joy they experience when they support worthy causes. Studies have proven that giving triggers our brains to release dopamine and endorphins, the chemicals associated with pleasure and joy. Whether it’s volunteering your time or donating cash, selfless actions can actually reduce the risk and symptoms of depression and lower day-to-day stress. Some scientists even posit that giving helps you live longer. As one person told me, “It just feels so good to know that I could help make a difference for someone else.”

“It just feels so good to know that I could help make a difference for someone else.”

Giving Out Loud Grows A Better World

Alleviating poverty. Ending homelessness. Education. Community Development. The Arts. There’s no lack of good causes clamoring for donations, and I’m so grateful for the generous people like you who freely give their time and money to support the causes they believe in. So, whether you have one Facebook friend or 1,000, whether you would rather tweet to the world or pick up the phone and call a friend, whether you are chatting with six grandchildren or having lunch with a co-worker, I urge you to tell your generosity story. Let people see that generosity is a part of your lifestyle, and following your lead could bring joy to their lives too. Your influence is greater than you think. So, let’s grow a happier, healthier, more generous world.

Contributed by Darren Pries-Klassen

[1]CapitalOne MoneyMindfulness Survey 2018


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