As someone who has raised funds for over 30 years for causes I care about deeply, I am often curious what people do with the money they win on games shows like “Who Wants to be a Millionaire?” Of course, as I think to myself, someone needs to help them figure out how to give some of that windfall away!
I read an article recently where the writer chastised Americans for not giving away enough money. The writer calculated how much more money would be available to causes and charities if everyone gave away 10% of their income.
Ironically, the study also said that people who volunteer give away over three and a half times more money than those who did not volunteer. That makes sense to me. So my mind leaps to this conclusion: The clue to more giving of money is more giving of time. Why is that a problem? Because, unfortunately, volunteering in charitable organizations experienced a 15% decline between 2005 and 2007. People are pressed for time due to the demands of our jobs and families.
Our nonprofit sector can ill-afford to experience continued declines of that magnitude over time. That alone could kill organizations that depend on volunteers to carry out part or all of their missions, and it will hurt charities financially as well in dollars lost to what I will call “failure to be inspired.”
If you want to be a philanthropist, find your “occu-passion” and spend some quality time as a volunteer. Before you know it, you will happily be giving away more of your money, and feeling great about it.