While working for Zealous Good I have discovered many great charities supporting a variety of socially significant causes. I have also witnessed people’s generosity in supporting these causes. Still, one question remains ever more relevant: why do people donate? Is it the ability to empathize with others – the inclusion of others in the self and how that relates to our moral identity – the importance of being fair, kind, generous etc. Or is it a simple way to feel better about ourselves? I think the answer is more complex than that.
Maybe we feel a personal responsibility for social involvement, for making society more functional, a desire to correct some sort of social injustice, and ultimately a desire to repair what’s wrong with our world. Yes, these are very ambitious goals, but maybe deep down we all want to believe that what we do matters and that each one of us can affect our world for the better. One way we can do that is by supporting a specific cause that we feel personally connected to.
Intentional donors really make a difference. These are the people who think outside the box, who break away from the social routine and make the effort to familiarize themselves with different charities and causes, in order to make an informed decision.
Jenn, who donated through Zealous Good, is one such donor. “The ability to choose the charity that receives your donation is extremely important to me! I always want to make sure my donation is going to an organization whose mission and goals I support and whose values align with mine. It was really reassuring to be able to see how directly the items I was donating could benefit others in my community through the charity I chose,” she says.
It seems to me, people donate because of the basic human need to strive for goodness, whatever their understanding of that concept might be.
And for the skeptics out there, take a look at the results of people’s generosity. In the end that’s what really counts!