The Benefits You Gain When You Give

We all know about the great feelings we get when we give. Volunteering is one of the most fulfilling things one can do and it is noted for its ability to pull us out of depressed feeling and improving our self-worth. But there are other great benefits to giving that are practical and in addition to the good felling we get. Here are a few of the most important ones:

See the Results of Your Giving

Many charities like Helping a Hero, that provides custom homes for wounded war veterans and Habitat for Humanity, a charity that builds homes for those who have lost theirs in disasters, engage volunteers to assist in the building of the home. In this role you can see your charitable work as a finished product that a needy person or family will receive. There is no better feeling than to see the looks on the faces of the recipients when they receive the keys to a new home and the joy they feel toward you for the role you have played in making it possible. Many have described it as the best feeling they have ever had next to their children being born.

Improve Your Community

Local charities provide assistance to local communities and even the national and international ones will generally give where there branches are, so when you give you are helping to improve the lives and wellbeing of those in your local community. This added support which is supplemental to national programs like disability, medicare and food stamps has never been more needed with so many families suffering. And the giving provides sometimes vital support, particularly in depressed communities. So when you give to charities you create a better neighborhood and stronger neighbors.

Increase Employee Morale

Companies that give generously to causes have some of the highest employee satisfaction ratings. This is because people feel good knowing that there companies are providing resources to those less fortunate and many who do not have a job. Companies have a lot of good reasons for giving including tax breaks and this is a great added benefit for them, but there is also the added love they get from those who work for them. At many of these companies their charitable campaigns also provide an opportunity for those employees interested in helping a charity, to have a foundation from which to do it. This could be providing money to the charity through the company or working as a volunteer through a company initiative.

Save on Your Taxes

When you donate money or items to a charity, you decrease your income and the tax you owe to the government. So if you are paying a lot in taxes, this can be a way to substantially decrease that amount. This tax law was instituted to encourage people to give and it provides a one to one benefit meaning for every dollar you can authentically claim you get a full dollar deduction from your income. There are limits and you need to be able to verify the exact amount, but it is a way for you to benefit.

Induce Civic Engagement

If you’ve found a cause you like to support with donations, it’s usually just a matter of time before you start contributing your time to that cause as well. A hearty rate of voluntarism improves the overall health and longevity of local organizations, so give your money and your time to a cause you believe in.

Increase Your Community Standing
Generous givers tend to have more influence with their pet projects than others do. For instance, one of the organizations I contract with is far more likely to have generous givers serve on the board than people who aren’t financially invested in the cause. In turn, these board members are in a better position to influence the agency’s decision-making because they have demonstrated their interest and investment time and time again. The more you give to an organization, the more likely you are to influence that organization’s activities.

Reduce Your Tax Burden
Finally, and most famously, charitable contributions can reduce your tax burden at the end of the year. If you’re itemizing your tax return, you can report the dollars you contributed to charity for a deduction in your taxable income. Even if you’re short on cash, you can donate unwanted items to charity (such as clothing, furniture, and vehicles) and claim the value of these goods as a deduction.

For instance, if you make $70,000 annually and contribute $7,000 (or the equivalent in unwanted items) to charity, then your taxable income is reduced to $63,000 on an itemized return. This can add up to a substantial savings, especially if you’re in one of the higher tax brackets.