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A Cheerful Giver

You’ve heard it said, “It’s better to give than to receive.” But is it really true? According to research from Harvard and the University of British Columbia it is. They say that in terms of quantifying “happiness,” spending money on yourself is satisfying, but spending on others causes a significant increase in happiness!

But why is this the case? The explanation is that charitable giving improves what psychologists call “self-efficacy,” one’s belief that one is capable of handling a situation and bringing about a desired outcome. When people give their time or money, to a cause they believe in, they become problem solvers. Problem solvers are happier than bystanders. They see this giving as an extension of themselves.

Author, Arthur Brooks tell us this story. “In 2003, while working on a book about charitable giving, I stumbled across a strange pattern in my data. Paradoxically, I was finding that donors ended up with more income after making their gifts. This was more than correlation; I found solid evidence that giving stimulated prosperity. 

So the next time you plan on doing a fundraiser, of any kind, make sure you design it with these thoughts in mind. Make sure you position your station as an e x t e n s i o n of the listener, helping them do what they cannot do alone. When you become the conduit between themselves and helping someone in need, you have deepened your relationship with that listener exponentially and they become strong and loyal fans. Listeners will forget about a contest but they will not forget how you helped them help someone else!