All philanthropists have their own reasons for giving, and you probably have yours. But if you’re still looking for some good reasons, here are several.
A sense of accomplishment can be a good motivation for giving and getting involved.
Committing yourself to a cause, giving your time or making a donation can bring great personal satisfaction.
Some donors are motivated, at least in part, by the way giving reflects upon themselves, the image it creates in their community. After all, philanthropic gestures are undeniably well perceived by clients and colleagues alike.
Some donate out of a simple need to give, through innate generosity, in a completely disinterested way; they simply want to do something for others, without expecting anything in return, anonymously.
Studies have shown that those whose give for the simple pleasure of giving get something back in return: a feeling of well-being.
If you have any free time on your hands, volunteering could be the perfect way to use it.
Many people have a deep love of the arts in general, or a discipline in particular. They may fall in love with an organization, with its creations or artists, and simply wish to support them.
Donating could certainly be beneficial to your business or professional career, enhancing your image, profile, visibility, business and social networks.
Giving your time as a volunteer can pay off professionally, providing working experience that could be useful in the future. In business circles, being active on a board of directors is well regarded, and is an asset on any résumé.
Getting involved on a board of directors is a good way to build up your contacts and source of references, and to diversify your business experience if you are starting out or changing directions.
Your involvement and donations can have a positive impact on your community. Getting involved with the organizations in your neighbourhood may not change the world, but it can certainly change things locally.
Tax deductions are a great incentive to give. Donations can benefit both donor and organization—a win-win situation.
Works of art can also be an interesting investment. According to Radio-Canada, the value of many Canadian and Quebec painters has increased dramatically, particularly since the financial crisis of 2008—at a higher rate than most stock market portfolios!
Sometimes, it’s just a question of timing. An article by Monica Patten entitled “Comment susciter des dons” in the May 2005 issue of CAmagazine listed some of the opportunities for considering donations:
- Estate planning, tax planning or retirement – examining one’s financial situation or making a will are often excellent opportunities to reflect on the matter;
- Unexpected capital gain – a legacy or financial windfall may prompt you to make a donation;
- Sale of a business or real estate – a charitable donation could reduce the tax burden;
- Converting a REER into a RRIF – if you do not need the sums payable on a RRIF to maintain your lifestyle, you could save on your tax bill by donating these funds to an organization or by taking out a life insurance policy with a charitable organization as beneficiary;
- Death of a loved one – perhaps you would like to make a donation to an organization that was dear to a loved one, and dedicate it to his or her memory;
- Important milestone – you could create an endowment fund to mark an important anniversary, and ask your friends and family to donate to it in lieu of a gift;
- Simplifying annual donations – if you make donations every year, an endowment fund would allow you to continue this support without having to issue cheques every year.
A French perspective on community involvement: Donner de son temps, les bénévoles dans la vie associative.