Friday, March 30, 2012

The art of giving.

There's a U2 lyric that comes to mind whenever I contemplate philanthropy, 'why is it that the first to take is the last to give, every time...'

Isn't that the truth. But why is it that some people give more of themselves than others?

Australia's biggest study into this very topic by the Australian Centre for Philanthropy and Nonprofit Studies (Queensland University of Technology) has found that life changing events were the catalyst for 40 per cent of people who set up charitable causes.

Lead researcher Dr. Wendy Scaife says, "we found also that seasoned business folk or the middle aged or older were asking the questions, what now?

"We've raised our children, they're independent, we've got a capacity to give - should we?"

The study also found that people wanted to add meaning to their lives, outside of just making money. "People want their life experience to have meaning to others so they channel not just money but energy and contacts into something that's important to the community and themselves."

When it comes down to the bare bones of philanthropy - doesn't it just make us feel good? And isn't that reason enough to reach out to others? So where does that leave the takers...are they all miserable?