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Leadership | Philanthropy

Why Giving is Good for You

hands-1201826When it comes to altruism, you don’t usually think about the benefits you may reap.  Charitable gifts are made of the purpose of helping others, but there is science to prove that being a giving a person can be good for your health. Research has proven that being charitable is, in fact, good for all parties. These observations apply to more than just making donations; acts of goodwill can bring benefits across many contexts.

Volunteering is an excellent alternative to donating physical or monetary goods. The contribution of your time and skills is often just as valuable as any financial contribution. Volunteering also allows you to connect with individuals dedicated to the same cause. A review published by BMC Public Health showed that volunteering improves your level of satisfaction and your well-being. Researchers reinforced the benefits of volunteering, stating, “Since people reporting stronger social relationships have a reduced risk of mortality, the social aspects of volunteering may contribute to the observed survival differences.” In addition to strengthening your relationships, volunteering can increase your level of confidence and self-esteems. Doing good for others, and for your community will you a natural sense of accomplishment.

If you’re looking for a long life with a charitable legacy, you may already be well on your way to achieving this. Researchers at the University of Buffalo found a link between altruism and a lower risk of early death. Completing simple task for others, like running errands, or watching their children, can contribute to a lower mortality rate. The study, published by the American Journal of Public Health found that, “helping others reduced mortality specifically by buffering the association between stress and mortality.” You don’t need to be grandiose with your actions for you, or others, to feel the benefits. Even these small acts of kindness can create beneficial results.

Helping your colleagues can increase your happiness in the workplace. According to a study conducted by the University of Wisconsin-Madison, research shows that demonstrating altruism in the office not only improves general well-being, but also makes employees more committed to their responsibilities, and less likely to leave. Your kind actions have positive consequences for those around you, some of which are more extensive than you would think. As professor Donald Moynihan says, “Our findings make a simple but profound point about altruism: Helping others makes us happier. Altruism is not a form of martyrdom, but operates for many as part of a healthy psychological reward system.” If your colleagues look to you as a leader in the workplace, take the initiative and set the example as a giving colleague. Your goodwill can foster more positive behavior, and spread happiness.