Why We Give

By John Riggins October 04, 2010

Why We Give

By: John Riggins

What makes us give our time, money, or goods to a particular charity? Is it a sense of gratitude? Obligation? Expectation of something in return? Guilt? I once made a pledge to an organization just to get the pushy solicitor off the phone. Needless to say, that was a one-time contribution.

The answer to my question is as varied as the respondents. I give when I have an emotional attachment to the cause. It has to be something I believe in and feel the organization will be a good steward of what I give them.

Deep down, I think we all want to connect with someone or something bigger than us. We want to make a difference. We want to do something of significance, even if it’s small.

Take for example the recent text-to-donate campaign for the Haitian earthquake victims. The Red Cross raised over $5 million during and just after the televised benefit concert. More than a half a million people donated $10 each via their mobile phones. In relative terms, ten bucks is not much, but in the aggregate, it will make a tremendous difference.

So why do you give? I’d love to hear what motivates you.