5 Reasons You Should Donate Your Time or Money to Others

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Eighty-eight percent of households give an average of $2,213 annually to charity. Some people give to charity because they want to make a difference; others do it because they feel obligated, some do it to get credit, and others do it because it’s socially expected of them. Others who cannot give financially give their time by volunteering at nonprofits that are important to them. In 2011, the estimated dollar value of volunteer time was $19.54 per hour, and in addition to the financial impact of volunteering, many people who benefit from volunteers appreciate actual volunteer hours because they feel more personal.

Still, whether you can give financially or volunteer your time, your donation will make a difference to an organization, and, most likely, to at least one individual. Although there are several reasons why different people donate, there are many specific reasons that you should donate — here are just five.

Source: Thinkstock

1. Give because it will make you happier

According to PBS, kind acts benefit the giver even more than the receiver. As long as acts of kindness don’t become obligatory or overwhelming, they can enrich the giver and the whole community. Altruism in all its forms – kindness, generosity, compassion, volunteering, and donating money — has the potential to reward the giver as much or more than the recipient. Research suggests that altruistic giving, including kindness, generosity, and compassion, help us be happy. This is especially true of random acts of kindness, which boost happiness in the person completing the act. When we are generous, we perceive others with more compassion; we also feel a greater community with others. It makes us recognize our own good fortune, boosts our self-image, and allows us to use our strengths in a helpful way (including financial strengths).

A recent study found that volunteering lowers depression, increases well-being, and is correlated with a 22 percent reduction in the risk of death. However, some people claim that too much volunteering can actually be stressful and bad for your health. You should only volunteer as much as makes you happy and content – when you start to feel obligated, you won’t experience as many of the benefits.

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