Charitable Giving: Give in Order to Receive
The idea of giving away what you have especially if you don't have much is a tough one to wrap your head around. But if you truly want to be rich (both literally and figuratively), getting into the frame of mind of giving is a step in the right direction.
When I joined Rotary, I wasn't sure just how much time I could dedicate to the club's charitable fundraising and related activities. I had a business to run, an active social life, and many extra-curricular activities to round out my 16 hour days.
But it was only after I started to give freely of my time and money towards worthy causes that my life became enriched in ways I couldn't have predicted:
- My business doubled in size in one year, completely independent of the people I was interacting with.
- I met like-minded people with whom I still share extremely strong bonds.
- I found new income-producing opportunities.
- I received tax breaks for my charitable contributions.
- I adopted a number of charitable projects separate from Rotary, which enriched my life and career in amazing ways.
Call it karma, call it good vibes, or anything else that fits the bill; when I gave of myself (be it time or money) without expectation of getting anything in return, I always received ten times the benefit.
A friend of mine who is quite wealthy said he wakes up every morning, and is thankful for all that he has. He feels blessed, and asks with cupped hands for continued blessings. Then throughout the day, he gives away all he has that he doesn't need. I have seen his generosity in action, and he doesn't do it with any ulterior motives. He believes that if he gives away what he has, he will always be able to be thankful with cupped hands and will receive what he needs. So far, it has worked for him!
I will note that he doesn't do anything financially irresponsible in his benevolence, putting himself in a fiscally risky position (he ensures he and his family is well-provided for). He just gives with unparalleled generosity and is always rewarded in amazing ways.
You don't even have to limit your giving mentality to charitable causes; just being in a generous frame of mind and helping others for the sake of helping can bring back amazing results. The next time a friend needs help moving, consider dedicating your afternoon to the cause instead of coming up with an excuse as to why you can't go.
Where Does All My Money Go has a fabulous post on employer-matching programs. This is a great way to double any charitable contributions you make, and help to make a real difference. For the little bit of extra effort involved in filling out a few forms, you can double the impact of your contribution and cause.
So just when you thought you couldn't afford to give any money away, I urge you to reconsider. You may find that you'll receive way more than you ever give.