Why Do We Give to Charity?

“Why do we give to charity?” is a question that elicits varied answers. Some believe that by giving we understand ourselves.

Civil disobedience leader, Mahatma Gandhi famously said, “the best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others.”

Others give to charity because there life would not be complete without it: “In this world, it is not what we take up, but what we give up that makes us rich,” -Henry Ward Beecher.

Peace advocate, Mahatma Gandhi, believed in giving as a tool for self-discovery.

Charity researcher and author of “The Science of Giving,” Chris Olivola, was perplexed by what his research showed him.

“If you give people a photo of a sick child and statistics, people are less moved than by just seeing the child’s photo. So statistics plus child is just like statistics by itself,” Olivola says.

Running for a cause has become a very popular way to give back to charity. Olivola, an avid charity marathoner, says his research has shown, “when people anticipate that they’re going to have to suffer to raise money for a charity, then their willingness to contribute to that cause actually goes up.”

In order to understand the motives behind our donors, we put a call out on Facebook, asking, “why do we give to charity?” i.e. why do we as human beings, feel compelled to give back.

Here is what we heard back from our donors:

  • “Most of the charities I support are animal or children related. Two groups that have much control over their lives, so the charities that aid them, need all the help that they can get.” –Maryellen M.
  • “I support battered women and children’s shelters because I can’t imagine the challenges these women and children are trying to overcome. And I am fortunate enough to have a little extra to spare!” -Erin A.
  • “No money or materials are ever owned. It’s just a blessing to be passed along when your turn is done. All your talents are blessings to be shared also, always give what blessings you have to be blessed always.” -Carrie H.J.

In addition I asked the Zealous Good team, “Why do we give to charity?” ┬áHere’s what they had to say:

  • “I give to charity because I have something to give.” -Ali K.
  • “Giving to charity gives you the opportunity to make someones day or life just a little better. To me, that makes all the difference.” – Brittany G.
  • “I give to charity because┬áthere are many ways to give and through giving I am able to support a cause that I believe in.” -Jesse M.
Whatever your reason, giving to charity produces positive outcomes. You can start your charitable journey today by donating to one of Zealous Good’s 200+ charities. Also, we’d love to hear your response to “why do we give to charity?” Drop us a line on our Facebook page or Twitter!


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