There is an idiom that states: “To whom much is given, much is expected.” Philanthropy is rarely something done on a whim or in order to close a deal. For most business men and women, philanthropy is part of their lifestyle. They understand the profound impact it can make in the lives of the people they touch.
The benefits of philanthropy, however, are not exclusive to the recipients. Philanthropic givers can also benefit from donating their time. As they give more, they often find they receive more.
Why is it that sacrificing your finances and efforts for the greater good ends up benefiting you? To understand this question, we need to look into the psychology and methodology of philanthropy.
Happiness, in large part, is dependent on how fulfilled you believe you are. Fulfillment is of the utmost importance to philanthropists. A study conducted on over 400 of the world’s top bankers and wealth advisors found that personal fulfillment is the number one reason why ultra-high-net-worth individuals prioritize philanthropy.
“The great paradox of wealthy individuals is they give based on the psychology of how they feel,” says the President of Wealth-X, New York, David Friedman.
Giving exposes you to a deep sense of belonging. Countless psychological studies have shown that establishing connections and roots with your community makes you a more grounded, complete individual. It drives you to share more of your time and treasure with even more people. By creating value for them, the world rewards you with the feeling that you are accomplished and have a purpose.
For Business Relationships
Business men and women do not give unintentionally. They donate to causes they feel a deep connection to and believe in. As such, philanthropy offers an effective avenue to meet people with whom you share a common (and generous) interest.
This may be the reason why those who give more become more wealthy. As counterproductive as this may sound, there are pragmatic reasons why this is true.
As a business owner, supporting a charity can position your business for success. It is likely that you will meet other philanthropic business owners, perhaps a venture capitalist or a mentor that is willing to teach you what they know about running successful businesses. Alternatively, you may be approached by an ambitious startup founder willing to give you a stake in their business.
Build Empathy While Developing Skills
While charitable donations are important, philanthropy is about more than providing financial support to organizations. Time can also be an invaluable resource to people that need it. In giving your time, you can boost your confidence and foster a deeper empathy and understanding of humankind. Those who give are more likely to embrace the realities and problems of this world and discern actionable ways to overcome systemic problems. These critical-thinking and problem-solving skills are invaluable to success in the business realm.
For those with ambitions of executive status, chairing a nonprofit board may allow you to demonstrate your ability in an executive role and develop the skills needed to hold such a position. Such experience will surely feed into your career advancement.
Whether you give your time or your money, ensuring your involvement is crucial to both your personal success and that of the organization you are supporting.
It Will Ultimately Reflect Back to You
Whether you are contributing to the betterment of the environment or society, philanthropy will always eventually reflect back to you. Boosting the community with charitable endeavors will likely elevate your company.
Often times, employees respect business leaders who give back to the greater community, thus fostering a more trusting workspace. The connections with community leaders avail strong business opportunities and powerful allies. In short, charitable contributions can build the foundations for resounding success.
The Unwritten Social Contract
Philanthropy, at its best, is purely altruistic. As integral parts of the community, businesses are expected to give. Successful business men and women understand the intrinsic value in this, in both a holistic, community way and as a means to personal fulfillment.
Philanthropy provides the best platform to engage with your current and potential customers. It allows you to show that your business is concerned with more than just selling. In turn, people are more likely to hold you in high esteem. Goodness acts as positive PR.
Most successful business people understand that there is no use accumulating wealth if you do not have the desire to share it. Even small amounts of giving can be transformational.