This past Tuesday, you probably saw a multitude of posts with information and links for #GivingTuesday. Giving Tuesday was created in 2012, and is defined as “a movement that unleashes the power of radical generosity around the world; Giving Tuesday reimagines a world built upon shared humanity and generosity.” Over the past eleven years, millions of dollars have been raised worldwide for a multitude of causes, however we shouldn’t limit ourselves to giving to one day a year on the calendar.

There are a lot of ways to support people and organizations doing great work in your community, and it’s not just about a monetary contribution (however, as a member of multiple non-profit boards, money is ALWAYS appreciated and welcomed); you can give time, talents, network, and non-monetary resources, and you may be surprised to discover a load of benefits when you do.

1. Personal fulfillment: Volunteering and giving back to your community can bring a sense of personal fulfillment and satisfaction. It allows you to make a positive impact on the lives of others, contribute to causes you care about, and create meaningful connections with people in your community. Giving back can also provide a sense of purpose and a greater sense of happiness and well-being.

2. Relationship building: Engaging in community service and giving back can help you build strong relationships with others, allowing you to connect with like-minded individuals who share similar values and interests; these connections can lead to new friendships, networking opportunities, and a sense of belonging within your community.

3. Skill development: Whether it’s through volunteering, organizing events, or serving on boards or committees, you can gain new skills and experiences that can enhance your personal and professional growth. These skills can include leadership, communication, problem-solving, teamwork, and project management.

4. Positive health impacts: According to the Give360 blog The Neuroscience of Giving: Why It’s a Prescription for a Good Life, “When we give, our brains release various feel-good chemicals, such as dopamine and oxytocin. These chemicals are associated with happiness, pleasure, and social bonding.” Our bodies quite literally respond with positivity when we give to others!

5. Social impact: Giving back to your community allows you to contribute to positive social change. By supporting local organizations, initiatives, and causes, you can help address social issues, improve the lives of others, and create a more inclusive and equitable community. Making a difference in your community can have a ripple effect, inspiring others to get involved and creating a collective impact.

6. Personal growth and learning: Engaging in community service and giving back can be a transformative experience. It exposes you to new perspectives, challenges your assumptions, and broadens your understanding of the world. It can also help you develop empathy, compassion, and a deeper appreciation for the needs and experiences of others.

The ROI of giving is clear…it’s good for people and organizations you choose to support, and it creates a host of personal benefits. If you’re not sure where to start, type “non-profit organizations near me” into a search engine, and see what peaks your interest. Once you’ve identified an organization you feel connected to, check out their website and look for a “ways to support”, “donate”, or “get involved” button. Drop by or schedule a phone call to learn more about opportunities, and if it’s a fit, get GIVING!

#whynotyou #peopledevelopmentwithpurpose #thursdaythoughts #givingtuesday #giveback