Considering donating to charity? Here’s why you should donate your money
One of the best things you can do with your money is give it away. On paper, it seems counter intuitive for someone to earn money only to give it away but that’s not the whole picture.
Giving away money has benefits for your health, your taxes and the community you live in. It’s one of the key ways that you can direct the money you gain from saving or investing to improving the world around you because none of us is an island.
Here’s 10 reasons why you should donate and give your money to charity:
1. You get a tax deduction
If you’re keeping your receipts for tax time, you might be aware of this already but it’s a huge reason to donate to charity. Whatever you give to charity can be counted as a tax deduction.
What that means practically is that if your income of $60,000 is being taxed and you give a $500 donation to a charity, this $500 is deducted from the $60,000 and you’ll pay less in tax.
Just make sure that the charity you give to has a current charitable status for tax purposes in your country and that keep your receipt so that you have proof of the donation for tax time.
2. You’ll live longer
Helping others is good for your health. Research has linked stress and mortality, finding that if you help others you reduce your mortality or risk of death by better buffering your stress levels. So, if you want to live longer but haven’t yet found the fountain of life, giving to others could be a great way to reduce your stress levels and live longer.
3. You want to give back to society
Most of us benefit from the society we live in. We have healthcare access, we walk on paved sidewalks, we go to schools that receive government funding. Giving money to causes is one way that you can give back to the society and community whose support you have benefited from. This concept of giving back features in many religions, including the act of Zakat in Islam or Tithing in Christianity where you give away a portion of your income. No matter your religion, if you believe in the importance of community, you will likely value the importance of giving back to society.
4. You identify with a cause
Identify with a particular cause will drive your passion to donate to drive forward progress on that issue. Donating money that you’ve worked hard to acquire is a decision you take with both your heart and your head and you’re more likely to feel satisfaction from donating to a cause or organisation you connect to and feel passionately about. This can include wanting to be associated with a particular organisation or having experienced of the issue they are working on.
5. You want to build a legacy
This is one of my favourite reasons to give to charity. The idea is that you’re building a legacy of giving that will be in place once you’ve passed away and that the benefits of your labour will outlive you. It’s something I relate to as a teacher as the reason I choose to teach both in and now outside of the classroom is that it’s a legacy of knowledge that will outlive me. Pick a cause or organisation you’re passionate about and build your own legacy.
6. You want to start a trend or are seeing others giving
Giving is contagious. Seeing others giving away their money also makes you more likely to give according to research from Harvard University which linked social influence to charitable contributions. A nudge from a friend can greatly influence your decision to donate, which means you also have the power to start a trend of charitable giving amongst your friendship circle.
7. You want to feel good
Giving as little as $5 to charity can lead to an increase in your happiness. Research led by Harvard Business School detailed how spending money on others can increase our own happiness. If our own spending decisions can influence our happiness, particularly when these are intentional activities and choices, you may want to direct your money to a cause to feel good.
8. You can see the impact of the work an organisation does
Some people don’t give to charity because they can’t see where their donation goes. The flip side is also true as if you can see the impact that the work of an organisation has on individuals or a community, you’re more likely to want to contribute to extend that visible impact. If you can see where your contribution goes, you’re more likely to want to put your hand in your pocket.
9. You want to feel like you’re not powerless in the face of need
A lot us may have felt this during the late 2019 to early 2020 bushfires in Australia. A key reason people flocked to donate to charities is that they felt like they could do something to help. Whether it was donating some money towards a koala recovery charity, donating money for emergency grants for those who lost everything or buying a ticket to a relief concert which provided funding to those affected, we want to feel like we can help those who need support.
10. You want to pay tribute to someone
In a world where more of us are falling victim to both preventable and non-preventable diseases, you may wish to pay tribute to someone through a charitable donation. This could be donating money towards a heart research foundation if your loved one died of heart disease or putting money towards a family support charity if you have been through a similar difficult time. One of the best ways you can pay tribute to someone’s memory is by donating to a cause that they have been impacted by to ensure people benefit from this donation in the future.
The most important reason for you to give to charity is that it is important to you.
We all have different drivers which affect our decisions and choices on what to do with our money. There are benefits to donating to organisations and charities you care about so if donating is important to you and you can connect to one of the reasons to give to charity, look into how you can start donating now.