Culture & Lifestyle / How Philanthropy Can Improve Your Life

How Philanthropy Can Improve Your Life

Culture & Lifestyle Nov 11, 2013

"A small group of thoughtful people could change the world. Indeed, it's the only thing that ever has." – Margaret Mead

Most of us can relate to the feeling of being bogged down with the responsibilities and monotony of everyday life. So what are the benefits of adding yet another responsibility to your plate? Research shows that acts of philanthropy can significantly improve your outlook on life.

Here are a few reasons why:

Stay Informed About Issues Of Social Injustice

By opening your eyes to someone else’s personal struggles, you can gain new perspective on your own tribulations. Additionally, looking into which charity or organization you would like to donate your time, money or resources, you will have the opportunity to learn more about what they do and how it benefits others.

As a result, you will become more educated about social injustices in your community and around the world. You may even discover new points of view and form an opinion on topics about which you were previously uninformed. This new knowledge and understanding may then prompt you to become more involved or to educate others in your social circle.

Build Your Resume

Volunteering is a great way to gain experience and build a network in a field that interests you. To gain maximum satisfaction from the experience try to choose an organization with a mandate or mission statement that fits your own. Find a place where your volunteer work can provide you with applicable skills to use in your professional life.

Even if you decide to volunteer with an organization that doesn’t directly relate to your job many of the skills required for fundraising are applicable to marketing, sales and customer relations. Additionally, they can provide you with valuable organizational, time management and communication skills. Better yet, the empathy and interpersonal aptitude you will develop are soft skills worth far more than any hard skills on your resume.  

Help Your Heart

Not only will supporting a cause help your heart figuratively, but literally as well. New Carnegie Mellon University research shows that older adults who volunteer for at least 200 hours per year decrease their risk of high blood pressure by 40 percent. This suggests that volunteer work may be an effective option to help prevent the condition.

Furthermore, evidence from the University of Exeter Medical School points to a 20 percent reduction in mortality among volunteers compared to non-volunteers. They also found that volunteers reported lower levels of depression, increased life-satisfaction and enhanced well-being.

Set A Good Example

New research from the University of British Columbia and the University of California, Riverside suggests that children who make an effort to perform acts of kindness are happier and experience greater acceptance by their peers.

Teaching kids the importance of kindness is the number one way to prevent bullying and can have a lifelong impact. By acting in a way that supports what you say, kids see that it’s important to ensure your actions follow your convictions.
So, make a positive change in your life by volunteering your time or donating to those less fortunate. There are all kinds of not-for-profit organizations that offer programs and events where volunteers are needed.

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If your interests lie in arts and culture, volunteer at a local art gallery. To help the youth in need, check out a local counseling and family services centre. Volunteer at a food bank or homeless shelter. To fight global social inequality, look into sponsoring a child, sending funds to a community in need or committing to the life-changing opportunity to travel to a developing country and experience firsthand the impact one person can make.

Whether it’s volunteering your time or donating to a cause you believe in, being instrumental in bringing about a positive change in someone else’s life can leave you feeling happy and fulfilled in your own.
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Yvonne Sinniah

Yvonne Sinniah


Yvonne Sinniah (@YvonneSinniah) is a Relations Advisor and inspirational speaker focusing on helping individuals achieve success in personal and professional environments.  focusing on helping individuals achieve success in personal and professional environments.  She is on a mission to meet a nee...


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