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Philanthropy Files May 2019

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Diana Burrell, Philanthropy Manager

“When you give the best you have to someone in need, it translates into something much deeper to the receiver. It means they are worthy.” ~ Kristine Levine

A few months ago I came across a blog post titled “I’m a Little Too Fat, a Little Too Giving. I Think I Know Why.” by Kristine Levine. She relates the story of her childhood and how the kindness and generosity of strangers helped her and her mother through a very difficult time. Strangers offered Kristine their best and she in turn became her best. She is now empowering her children to give and be their best.

Giving is a beautiful thing. Not only do the people who receive the gift feel seen and worthy, those who give experience heightened levels of happiness, personal growth and meaning in their lives. There are numerous scientific studies about mental and physical benefits of volunteering and philanthropy. But, it can at times feel overwhelming. Jenni Santi, author of The Giving Way to Happiness: Stories & Science Behind the Life-Changing Power of Giving, lists some tips to healthy giving in a 2017 article in Time:

1. Find your passion

It is not how much we give, but how much love we put into giving.

2. Give your time

The gift of time is often more valuable to the receiver and more satisfying for the giver than the gift of money.

3. Give to organizations with transparent aims and results

According to Harvard scientist Michael Norton, “Giving to a cause that specifies what they’re going to do with your money leads to more happiness than giving to an umbrella cause where you’re not so sure where your money is going.”

4. Find ways to integrate your interests and skills with the needs of others

“Selfless giving, in the absence of self-preservation instincts, easily becomes overwhelming,” says Adam Grant, author of Give & Take.

5. Be proactive, not reactive

Set aside time, think about your options, and find the best charity for your values.

6. Don’t be guilt-tripped into giving

If you feel guilt-tripped into giving, chances are you will not be very committed over time to the cause.

Read her full article “The Secret to Happiness Is Helping Others” here.

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