Philanthropy may seem like something for wealthy businesses or heirs to thrones to take on. The truth is, anyone can expend goodwill toward fellow humans by donating money, time or humanitarian service toward a cause they care about. Philanthropy is essential for society at large as well as for people’s individual lives, and here are four reasons for that importance.
1. It Connects People
It may be easy to feel isolated in your bubble, or you may already feel connected to the world through avenues like school, work or even social media. One of the great things about philanthropic endeavors is that they connect people from all walks of life and all parts of the world. Local charity projects can bring neighbors together in a special way, and donating to relief funds and organizations internationally can remind people that all are connected in the broad family of humanity. Those with higher amounts of funds like real estate expert Richard Maize have even begun charitable foundations to further the cause of organizations that work toward goals such as cancer research, financial equity, and hunger alleviation.
2. It Build On Itself
Have you ever heard the term “one good turn deserves another?” Throwing good karma out into the world tends to pay off by having a contagious effect on other people. Humans are, after all, tribal creatures, and what better tribe to contribute to than the one that seeks to make people happy and healthy? The more people give and serve, the more others want to join in, and a snowball effect can happen wherein an entire community can get involved in making the world a better place for everyone.
3. It Promotes Personal Health
If you’ve ever given your time or funds to a worthy cause, it probably won’t surprise you to learn that doing so can have a positive effect on both the mind and the body. Giving has been scientifically proven to improve mental health, lower blood pressure, improve levels of stress hormones, and even lead to longer life expectancy. Engendering selflessness can improve not only the length of your life but the quality of your time as well.
4. It Fills the Gaps
One difficult reality about the world today is that with such an enormous quantity of people and endeavors, sometimes certain needed services can fall between the cracks. Many important programs are underfunded, and the people who get left behind due to this can be irreparably harmed. The good news is that goodwill donations can help people and communities to thrive, even when the usual avenues haven’t worked. It can be amazing to witness the assistance given to those who may not be able to help themselves.
The philanthropic efforts of many altruistic people have had major positive effects on individuals, communities and groups worldwide. And you can be part of the movement! You can always start small, looking in your community for people or organizations that could use a helping hand. Perhaps consider giving a small donation to a trusted charity. Small steps can snowball into enormous changes in both your life and the world.