Happiness Through Volunteerism & Charitable Giving

Most folks define happiness by how they feel and if they are comfortable and free from want. Of course, this can be a difficult reality to chase. In fact, it is nearly impossible to attain that kind of happiness on a permanent basis unless you have no more wants. If you are at the upper echelon of enlightenment I commend you, but also would challenge you to live in the here and now and experience life to its fullest.

If you have reached a place where you are totally free from want then why not help others who are not? And if you have done nothing your entire life but strive to make yourself happy then why not find some happiness in giving back or volunteering.

Did you know that folks rank charitable giving amongst the most fulfilling acts of their entire life? Perhaps this speaks to the genetic encoding for philanthropy and empathy that all humans share? Humans are social animals and although they engage much of their time in primate politics, there is a good side and good natured heart in there, use it.

So, why not share some happiness with others in their time of need. The Karma will do you good and you’ll discover a whole new reality and way to happiness in your life. Why not go with nature, do what comes natural and enjoy happiness through volunteerism and charitable giving. Get out the phone book and look under non-profit groups in your area, call a friend or two see if they are game also. Then call up and volunteer, try it out; you just might like it. Happiness awaits.

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Facts About Charitable Giving for 2017 and Why You Need to Care

The annual report by Giving USA is out for 2017. Every year, the nonprofit sector waits for this important report.

Here are some of the key findings based on reporting from the Chronicle of Philanthropy:

2016 was the third year of growth in fundraising.
Fundraising grew by 1.4 percent in 2016 over 2015.
Philanthropic giving is now at an astounding $390 billion.
Foundation giving increased by about 2 percent to $59.3 billion.
Corporate giving increased by approximately the same to $18.6 billion. (As noted in the Chronicle of Philanthropy article, corporate giving, in general, is evolving with an increased focus on corporate sponsorships and CSR marketing.)
Philanthropic giving represents 2.1 percent of the nation’s gross domestic product.

As usual, individuals crushed it with philanthropic giving.

But, here’s why you should keep an eye on how things may be changing.

The Trump administration is seeking to change tax law. If they do and they increase the standard deduction and eliminate the estate tax and, giving will likely decline. Remember, millionaires and billionaires give a lot of money, and while taxes are not the key driver in giving, the way the tax law has been structured up to this point has enabled the U.S. to become the philanthropic powerhouse that it is on our planet.
As noted above, corporate giving is evolving. Corporations are aggressively looking for a win/win situation with their corporate social responsibility. Reports are that corporate giving teams have grown and more of these groups are saying that their CEO’s has become much more involved in philanthropy. The reason is simple–it makes financial sense for companies to be good corporate citizens.
Individual giving is an extraordinary opportunity for nonprofits. As I’ve mentioned in previous articles, in the old days, peer-to-peer fundraising meant one millionaire asked his buddy and fellow millionaire for a substantial major gift for charity. Now, advances in technology and social media have allowed peer-to-peer fundraising to become democratized. Many nonprofits use individual donor fundraising pages, and now millions of people are asking their friends for small gifts of $5, $10 or more.
For many years, a lot of money went to religious causes. They still get the largest slice of the pie with over $122 billion going to religious charities. However, the growth has been flat. In the most recent report, environmental and animal welfare organizations experienced the greatest uptick with an increase of 6 percent over the preceding year. I think this is going to continue to grow.

The nonprofit sector is evolving, and if you look at it from a macro perspective, you get a chance to see that technology, social media, globalization, corporate interests, and the younger generations (who always have different priorities than their predecessors) are shifting how philanthropy continues to evolve.

I’m a big believer that more big changes are coming–things we probably cannot yet envision. One element that is a constant is that Americans care about philanthropy, and it’s growing. Social responsibility is not just something we talk about, but a lot of us walk the walk.

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Gibraltar – Role Model in Community Awareness and Charitable Giving

Community awareness is very important, as people should be aware of the society and it’s surroundings especially in the place they live. It is good to take notice of any problems or issues within the community and not just go about your own life looking after only yourself and the people you know personally. There may be others who are in need and worse off than you, so you could be in a position to help them.

If everyone pulls together as a community then it can be so much easier to solve a problem. It also takes much less time and effort compared to just one or two individuals. Many organisations set up community projects and encourage the public to give their time and help to it, in order to create a better community awareness and improve the lives of those who are less fortunate.

Perhaps there are no facilities for young people within a neighborhood, and so crime may be higher. To solve this, some residents may decide to take action and work with the council or similar, to plan on building a youth center to encourage teenagers to go there instead of hanging around on the streets. People don’t have to do this, but many choose to help others out and take control of the situation themselves.

Community awareness in Gibraltar is a very good example. The Bonita Trust have set up a We Care project to try and encourage children to get involved with community care social work. The incentives for them are that they can receive personal rewards whilst also helping local charities. The organisation hopes to change the minds of today’s youth and make charity giving important to them. They teach that doing good deeds helps contribute to a happy and fulfilled life and a positive frame of mind, so you can feel that you are really making a difference to someone else’s situation. For every good deed that the children do, they earn points which they can turn into donations to help a Gibraltar based charity of their choice. Perhaps they may decide to help an elderly person with their weekly grocery shopping, wash other’s cars for them or encourage people to start recycling.

Many young people have been encouraged to take part in charitable giving in Gibraltar and it is becoming more and more popular amongst them. They can either give them time and help to someone in need, or choose to fundraise for a charity of their choice. For example, some of the local organisations which have received help from projects like We Care include Breast Cancer Support, Down’s Syndrome Support Group, Women in Need and Pathway Through Pain.

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