It’s no surprise that people of faith are more likely to give to charity than the non-pious. Especially considering the Bible, which is loaded with proverbs such as “A generous person will prosper” (Proverbs 11:25). Donating to charity will do much more than help the organization. You, as the giver, reap some of the best rewards from your charitable donations or volunteer time.
Charitable Tax Deductions
The fact that donating to charity can help reduce taxes isn’t a secret. If your donations exceed the standard deduction, you’ll receive a deduction in taxable income. These donations don’t have to be money; you can donate unwanted items and claim the value as well. Giving can be difficult, especially if you’re on a tight budget. After all, you could put your money towards something for yourself such as a vacation or spa day. If you decided to donate because of your faith, tax benefits, or out of the kindness of your heart, you, as the giver, reap many perks. The emotional, social, mental, and financial benefits of donation often outshine the gratification of spending money on yourself.
Donating Can Improve Mental Health
Being charitable can help improve mental health. Low depression rates and optimistic moods are often linked to the psychology of being generous. Research has shown that donating to organizations has positive effects on the brain. Regular generosity creates an ongoing strength in your happy quotient. Donating time, stuff, or money to charity helps you grow as a leader. Community involvement creates opportunities to meet new people with similar interests. One study from Berkley shows that people who gave to others received higher scores of happiness. Another benefit of donating is improved worker morale. People who donate their time or money to a corporate cause are more likely to report feeling connected and productive in the work environment. As said in Luke 6:38 “Give, and it will be given to you… For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.”
Connecting with Values & Each Other
In working through the mandate of various religious traditions toward the healing of the world and individual motivations to give, people might understand that they have more in common than they ever realized. This should also help us reflect more intentionally on our contributions each year. Instead of simply giving as part of your routine every December, perhaps you should take into account how faith and values motivate your giving and the causes being supported with those dollars. In doing so, you may find even more meaning through giving, as you gain a deeper connection to your faith, others, and those that benefit from your donations.
Even if you don’t have much money to share, you can still help. More than 77 Million Americans volunteered in 2017. These people ranked up ~ 6.9 billion service hours worth $167 billion in economic value. Another option is volunteering your skills and help others by doing what you love or donating blood. Donating blood is free, doesn’t take much time, and could save someone’s life. If you have time to spare you could organize a drive to collect donations. Asking friends and family to donate to a charity rather than a direct gift is as easy as it gets.
Whether you donate money, time, resources, or just support, you are going to make a difference in someone/your own life. “God is not unjust; he will not forget your work and the love you have shown him as you have helped his people and continue to help them.”