For the first time in the United States, charitable giving has topped $400 billion.
Millions of people give to charity on a regular basis to support the causes and values they believe in. Donating doesn’t just benefit the charity, but it can be deeply rewarding for you too.
Giving to charity can be a challenge–especially when money is tight. You might want to save your extra cash for an emergency fund, college savings for your kids, or an upcoming vacation.
But just because economic factors might make donation difficult doesn’t mean that you should put it off. From tax benefits to your personal health, you might be surprised that you can reap some of the best rewards of your donation.
Let’s take a closer look at seven positive benefits of donating money to charity.
1. Giving to Charity Makes You Feel Better
When you donate to charity, you can get a major mood boost. Charitable contributions can actually create a response in the brain that mimics drugs and other stimuli.
The knowledge that you’re helping others can spark a flood of dopamine and endorphins, which activate the reward center of your brain.
Not only can it make you feel happier on a daily basis, but the results can improve your mood long term. You’ll feel pleasure in the deepest parts of your physiology–more so than fleeting pleasures like buying a new outfit or spending a night with friends.
2. Donation Can Get You a Tax Deduction
By giving to charity, you might be able to get yourself a tax deduction.
As long as you’re donating to an IRS-approved charity, you can write off donations on your tax return. You can also donate unneeded items and add its value to reduce your tax burden.
You won’t just be supporting a good cause–your donations can help you make smart financial decisions. To learn more about the requirements and restrictions, check the IRS website before you commit to any major donations.
3. Giving Can Promote Generosity in Your Children
If you have children or other young family members that look up to you, giving to charity can set an example for their future. When kids see you donating money to a charity, they’re much more likely to develop kind, generous, and empathetic qualities.
Every time you donate, make sure you keep your children updated on your efforts. The next time they’ve saved up some allowance or chore money, suggest donating part of it to a charity of their choice.
Having kids can be a huge moral responsibility. Donation is a great way to channel generosity in your children and help them grow up with a giving mindset.
4. Local Charities Support Your Community
Whether it’s food stamps, disability benefits, or veteran support organizations, giving to local charities can help uplift your community.
Community organizations tend to respond faster and more appropriately to the needs of your local area than larger organizations do. They also rely much more on your donations to keep them running.
When you give to a local charity, you’re much more likely to see concrete improvements in your community’s well-being. Plus, you can have the gratification of knowing that you personally helped the people around you thrive.
Not sure which charity to choose? This website will direct you to a way you can help sponsor the mental and physical health of veterans around the country.
5. Giving to Charity Can Improve Your Health
People who donate and volunteer score better on measurements like physical fitness and blood pressure levels than those who don’t.
Especially in elderly individuals, charity work can improve cognitive function, decrease physical decline, and lower rates of television watching. All of these are indicators of improved overall health.
The boost in happiness that comes from donation is also linked to lower stress levels. This can reduce the likelihood of developing depression, improve mild cases of insomnia, and lower blood pressure.
6. Donation Improves Your Financial Management
Did you know that giving to charity can help you better manage your money? By scheduling a set donation for each month, you can motivate yourself to be more attentive to your finances.
It keeps you accountable–with those donations, you can make sure you don’t fall behind financially.
Any tactic that encourages you to pay closer attention to your bank account is a good thing. It’s even better when you can manage your finances while helping those in need.
7. Bring More Meaning to Your Life
Donating to charities is a great way to expand your network. You can connect with others who care about the same causes that inspire you.
By making a real impact on the issues you’re passionate about, you can give your life new meaning. If you’ve been feeling down or stuck in a rut, sometimes the simple act of giving a donation can help reinvigorate your personal life.
The Bottom Line
Donating to causes you care about does more than just benefit the charities–it can help your emotional, social, and financial wellbeing.
You might be tempted to use your spare cash to splurge on you and your family, but the benefit from charitable giving can be far more rewarding. The next time you have a bit of money to spare, think twice before you spend it on something else. Giving to charity can offer you a better, more fulfilling life–and help those in need at the same time.
Looking for more tips to live a healthy and balanced lifestyle? Check out our blog for more health, fitness, and diet articles.