Americans donate to charity 3X more than the French, 7X more than the Germans and 14X more than the Italians (no wonder Mix is so tight). On average, we give away 3-4% of our income. The majority of our giving goes to the Church while education is second.
Why we give more has always been an American tradition. We especially love to give to those that are in need. Scientists have confirmed that like laughing, giving releases endorphins (stronger than morphine) into the blood system creating a euphoric feeling.
As a 5-Star investor with the American Cancer Society, our talent not only feels good about their contributions in both time and dollars, but knowing that ACS is the foundation for people with cancer and people looking for a cure. We have raised over $1,300,000 over the past 8 years.
But with thousands of organizations asking for money, how does one decide? I never give to those people at traffic lights with a bucket looking for a quick buck. Perhaps it's because I don't like the paper flower or none of my endorphins are released.
One person I know buys lunch at Burger King for the person behind him. I've done that at Starbucks. Now we have no idea if the person receiving the gesture is in need, but we feel good doing it.
When people call the home at night looking for donations, the phone slams down. No good feelings there! I think we look for sincerity and need when making a decision to give.
With 2009 in full swing, most non-profit organizations are cutting back big time. People aren't giving to the arts as much for example so there will be fewer exhibits. If you aren't working, do you care?
How will 2009 affect your giving this year? And here's the thing, if you can't give money, at least you can give time. One of my friends worked at a soup kitchen in Detroit and thoroughly enjoyed the experience.
Next up: Shampoo and conditioner that releases endorphins.