Why do people give? For some, it’s a sense of gratitude and finding the smallest acts of kindness that make a big difference. It can also be to improve the lives of others and even to improve one’s sense of self.
The reasons behind giving are personal and varied. That’s what World Vision learned in Seattle, where we interviewed several women and men on their reasons for giving. It was a busy day downtown and in Pike Place Market, the city’s landmark public market on the waterfront.
Reasons we heard for giving included feeling good, taking care of each other, giving because they are blessed, and returning the help they have received in the past.
Giving is also a topic for science. Find out what happens to your body when you give.
Studies have shown that giving often makes people feel some form of happiness and it has been demonstrated that happy people give more. But what kind of gift translates into the joy of giving?
World Vision worked with an algorithm studying 10 million tweets over a period of time to determine what emotions people feel when giving or receiving. Then researchers averaged the emotional scores for all the tweets (sorting by anger, joy, fear, sadness, and disgust). Their findings show a complex web of emotions when it comes to giving:
- In order to feel good about giving, it involves us feeling sadness and empathy too.
- Giving within your means and within your values makes you feel just as much joy as receiving something.
- You don’t need to give everything you have in order to feel good about giving. The very gesture of goodwill is enough to bring positivity into our lives.
Whatever your reason is for giving, we want to thank you on behalf of the children and families you’re impacting!