Victor Jung is a committed philanthropist from New York City

Tag: Giving

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The Big Picture Benefits of Philanthropy

Philanthropy is an intensely popular industry that encourages people to give back to their communities. Whether through corporate giving or personal volunteerism, the more people give back each day, the more people in need get the help they’re looking for. In the short term, philanthropists gain instant gratification from knowing that they’ve done something good to help their fellow humans—this is what most people chase when beginning their philanthropic journeys. 

 

What many people don’t know is that practicing philanthropy can benefit the philanthropist, those they are helping, and society as a whole in the long run. No matter how people practice charitable giving, there’s no doubt that helping others is a crucial part of personal and professional success.

 

Take, for example, corporate giving. Many businesses take part in charitable giving through company-wide donations and giving their employees paid days off for volunteer work. This is crucial for company culture as it builds a strong sense of community between coworkers, increases productivity in the workplace, and forms loyalty among employees and their employers. 

 

Philanthropy can also give companies a huge PR boost when they act charitably. By donating money to non-profit organizations, businesses will gain positive exposure and improve their reputation with customers, employees, partners, and the community. The better a business’s reputation is, the more sales they’ll ultimately make—roughly 90% of customers will shop at businesses that actively support a cause. In the same grain, Millennial job seekers are much more likely to apply to a company that supports a cause because they’ll feel a sense of purpose while working there.

 

Charitable giving impacts people individually as well. Parents can teach their children about the importance of helping others when participating in philanthropy and build on a child’s emotional intelligence. Many non-profits are involved in projects and events, providing parents with another teaching moment for their children: they can teach their children how to set goals, manage money, and plan projects correctly. These children typically end up being adults who continue volunteering and helping their communities. 

 

Additionally, philanthropy can vastly improve a person’s health. The body is actively moving while volunteering and working, which keeps people active for however long they work the charity event. Helping others can increase a person’s mood, reduce stress, stave off loneliness, and combat symptoms of depression. 

 

No matter how people give back, it’s clear that philanthropy is beneficial to society in the long run. The more people participate, the happier they, and their communities, will be.

Charities to Donate to This Holiday Season

According to Giving USA, Americans donated more than $400 billion dollars to their favorite charities in 2018. It’s imperative to point out that close to $292 billion dollars came from private donors. Many insiders around the country believe these numbers will increase in 2019.

There are many exceptional charities in need of your donation. However, no one wants to see their money go to a lost cause. Here’s a list of the most popular charities around today. Also, keep in mind that these charities have an exceptional reputation for using donated funds properly.

Action Against Hunger – This charity focuses on feeding homeless citizens and low-income families.

Direct Relief – If you really want to help people dealing with catastrophic losses from storms, you should consider donating to this charity.

Prevent Child Abuse America – If you have a heart for abused kids, this charity should be on your radar.

Fisher House Foundation – This charity helps our beloved veterans. Fisher House Foundation has a solid track record.

Conservation Fund – There are so many things happening in our environment these days. Donating to this charity can help keep our environment intact.

The charities listed above have a good reputation for making wise use of donated funds. However, there are tons of charities around today. It’s not unusual to turn on the television and see news stories about fraudulent charities. This is one of the main reasons why some people are reluctant to make a donation.

It’s important for you to understand that you should not allow fraudulent activity stop you from helping others. Let’s take a close look at a few solid tips that can help you choose a worthy charity.

  1. Do Your Due Diligence

You should do your research before sending your money to a non-profit organization. Check out the organization’s website and coverage in the press. You should also check out the organization’s financial records closely.

  1. List Your Favorite Causes

What are your favorite causes? Make a list of the causes close to your heart. This will help you choose the charities that serve your interests or passion.

  1. Ask Around

Consulting with your family members, friends, and co-workers can help you find a good charity that’s worthy of your money. For example, you may know someone who volunteers at a non-profit that helps teenage runaways. A non-profit organization like this could use your donations to help teens get back on the right track.

Giving USA stated they believe more Americans will give money to charities as time progresses. There are millions of people in need of help. Donating money to a reputable non-profit is a powerful way of helping them.

Charity is More Than Just Money for Children

With the decline in donations to charitable causes in recent years, the idea of engaging children in humanitarian acts in meaningful ways promises to provide adult donors in the future. Having been involved in charitable acts as children, these donors will understand what solutions can genuinely aid people, and they will contribute to making improvements in the conditions of peoples’ lives.

While many adults perceive charity as giving money, children’s perceptions of charity generally include social interaction and activities. Some of these acts involve children picking up litter, bringing food to seasonal festivals, dressing up for Children in Need, putting on red noses for Comic Relief, or donating their old toys for needy children. The list is endless.

Such engagement, if performed in a meaningful way, helps to foster altruism in children. In fact, since research suggests that children’s social orientations begin to form in their early years, helping children to become donors in the future by providing them experiences in which they become concerned about others is essential. Further research supports the conclusion that children who have charitable experiences before they are 10 years of age are twice as likely to be concerned about the welfare of others throughout their lifetimes than those who started when they were teenagers. Therefore, for charitable causes to succeed, it is vital that a child’s inherent socially-orientated behavior is fostered.

Equally important to the success of charitable organizations is the positive exploration of social and environmental issues. Acts of charity provide children the arena in which they can explore these issues in proactive ways. With the opportunities to acquire knowledge about the environment and their society and those of others, children can learn about the dangers to the air, land, and water. Also, when children are engaged in social and philanthropic activities, they are exposed to the inequalities of society. 

From such exposure, they can learn much to become responsible adults, having gained an understanding of citizenship and the importance of altruism. With this understanding also comes an increased motivation for giving to social causes in an effort to make improvements for people.

From their engagements in charitable activities in which they are exposed to people suffering deprivations, children gain the knowledge to know the importance of preserving clean air, clean water, and other natural resources. Interestingly, when they enter the conversation about climate change with their parents, studies in the United States have shown that these knowledgeable children have often contributed to a change in their parents’ attitudes about climate change. Indeed, knowledge fosters results.

4 Rising Trends In Philanthropy

While technology itself is not the only factor affecting changing trends in philanthropy, it is certainly having an impact. In fact, technology is often the invisible driving force behind numerous changes that don’t inherently seem to be technological in nature. With that said, here are four upcoming trends in philanthropy.

  1. Personal Philanthropy

In the past, the majority of philanthropic efforts were conducted by large foundations that collected vast sums of money and directed them towards charitable endeavors. Today, everyone is getting in on the act. Examples of personal philanthropy include building community gardens or starting small businesses that employ felons or help the homeless climb their way off the streets.

  1. Micro-Giving

If a large organization such as the Red Cross received 500 checks for $5 each, it would cost them almost as much to simply process all those donations as they received in donations. With digital banking and transfers, however, the vast majority of even the smallest donation can be directly applied to their mission. In addition, with the rise of smaller philanthropic endeavors that may only need a few thousand dollars in contributions to accomplish their mission, smaller donations are having a much greater impact.

  1. Data-Driven Solutions

Advanced analytics were once the purview of the largest corporations and wealthiest businesses. Not only was data time consuming to collect but if often had to be compiled and analyzed by highly trained experts. Now, data is plentiful and can be gathered, compiled and analyzed by programs available to even the smallest organizations. Offering both data-driven solutions and hard analysis of results can help even small organizations attract a wealth of donors.

  1. Corporate Philanthropy

While corporate philanthropy is coming under attack for a wide range of reasons, it is still a driving force in the philanthropic world. In many cases, corporate philanthropy is seen as self-serving or merely solving problems the corporation itself is responsible for creating in the first place. For instance, Mark Zuckerburg’s Chan-Zuckerburg Foundation recently pledged $500 million for affordable housing in the Bay Area. In Menlo Park alone, home to Facebook’s headquarters, median home prices have more than doubled in the last 20 years to a whopping $2.5 million. This means that even a mid-level executive making a 6-figure salary would have difficulty making ends meet in the area.

Want to Make Your Kids Happy? Teach Them to Give

It shouldn’t come as a surprise to many that giving and engaging in charitable efforts can have a positive effect on our outlook on life. Generosity can boost our endorphins and release oxytocin in our bodies, which creates a feeling of empathy and happiness. When applying this concept to children, one may think that their constant want for toys and material items would blind them from these benefits. However, teaching a child to give can do just the opposite.

Compassion and the want to give comes at birth and is a natural instinct in human beings. For instance, if you’ve ever seen a child no older than 1 or 2 years of age attempting to share whatever it is that they’re holding, you’ve witnessed that innate sense of wanting to give. Children are born with the ability to help despite not being taught the values of their actions, and studies have shown that giving can make them much more happier than receiving gifts.

A responsibility you have as a parent is to nourish this ability to give, and encourage your children to continue these efforts. There are countless benefits that come with giving and partaking in charitable efforts, but an increased sense of happiness is perhaps the best of all. However, it has been proven that giving also improves our health. It can reduce stress and even lower blood pressure in individuals that may be struggling with both health complications.

In terms of how you can encourage your children to give, there are a number of ways you can do so. First, talk to them to find out what their interests are and what they feel strongly about. Whether it’s animals or fellow children, this can give you a good idea of which organizations you and your children can work with.

Work close to home. Allowing your children to dedicate their charitable efforts to friends, family, and their respective community can have a profound impact on their overall happiness; something donations to an anonymous source on the other side of the world can seldom do. Perform these activities as a family to maximize happiness and the health benefits that come with donating your time and effort. It is a great way to bond with your children as well.

Encouraging your children to give and teaching them the values of charity can also promote social connections. Most charitable outings involve large groups of people gathering together to promote the betterment of a community, and doing so can allow relationships to develop among volunteers. Social interaction is very important in the growth of children, as it can improve both physical and mental health.

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