5 Ways to Give

Giving provides a euphoric experience that is referred to as the ‘Helper's High*’. It helps us to appreciate what we have; it distracts us from our own challenges and removals — and it contributes to our physical and mental health.

If you thought that giving was a one-sided altruistic act, please consider it again. Studies have shown that people who are givers get a lot back from giving, which makes giving a very important value to individual and organizational life.

The late philanthropist Ruth Rappaport writes in her book: "I do not want to be sanctimonious, but in my opinion philanthropy is egoistic. The satisfaction and joy that overwhelms me at the sight of a contribution that fulfills its purpose, are immeasurable."

Does that sound like something you connect to? Here are 5 important principles for implementing the value of giving in your organization:

  1. Tailor-made giving – make sure to match your involvement in giving to the strategy and values of your organization. Does your organization support and encourage diversity? Initiate joint participation activities for people with special needs. Do you believe in excellence? Combine activities to promote excellence among children and youth in the community around you. In this way, you can gain both business value and social value at the same time.
  2. Sharing is caring – try to involve employees in the choices and decision-making processes related to the organization’s good-deed-doing projects. Allow them to choose together a joint project, based on the criteria for selecting an appropriate cause, which is agreed upon by everyone, and encourages engagement and active participation.
  3. Encouragement and empowerment – create awareness-raising activities and encourage employees to participate in selected good-deed-doing projects. For example, for every dollar an employee contributes to a project, the organization will contribute an additional dollar. Express your appreciation to the employees taking part in the project. For example, consider handing out certificates of merit, outstanding volunteer awards, and even annual bonuses in order to strengthen the understanding that those who give generously end up receiving more.
  4. Spread the word – promote the value of giving in the community the organization operates through extensive awareness-building campaigns that encourage both customers and the general public to be good-deed-doers. For example, a large multinational financial organization initiated a campaign aimed at integrating disabled people into the company.
  5. It’s right under your nose. There's no need to go far. By listening to the needs of your immediate community stakeholders, and its social and environmental challenges, it’s possible to create highly meaningful and effective means of giving. For instance, a company initiated the adoption of a youth village, engaging dozens of managers and employees providing knowledge and skills that are essential for life, by delivering lectures and sharing their own personal and professional experiences.

“What we have done for ourselves alone dies with us; what we have done for others and the world remains and is immortal” (Albert Pike).

* “Helper's High” is a term coined by Allan Luks, a researcher, and author of ‘The Healing Power of Doing Good’. In a study of 3,000 participants, Luks found that 95% of the participants feel good when helping others.

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