Here’s a simple “what’s really important” check for you today:
- Do you believe that giving is an important component of a healthy life?
- Do you believe that giving stimulates our brains in much the same ways that food and sex do?
- Do you believe that giving reduces chronic pain?
- Do you believe that giving lowers anxiety?
- Do you believe that giving increases antibodies in our blood?
- Do you believe that people who give report feeling stronger and more energetic?
- Do you believe that giving is as good a stress reliever as any relaxation technique?
Science has confirmed all of the above statements. The research consensus on these topics is clear. Giving of ourselves and our money is good for our physical, psychological, and emotional health. It’s almost as if we are hard-wired to give. Our human experience is better when we give.
I think this knowledge should change us. With this understanding of the power of giving, will you commit to:
- Giving more yourself?
- Being an evangelist for philanthropy?
- Stopping the use of the “donor fatigue” excuse? The idea of becoming tired of feeling better seems outlandish.
- Viewing your work as a calling and a mission to educate others about this good news?
- Cultivating and asking for more (and more often)?
- Doing all that you can to encourage others to give?
Everyday science is opening up new windows into our understanding of how humans function and behave. I’m convinced that our best work as advancement professionals occurs not when we copy last year’s “best practice” or attempt some other tactical trick or tip. Instead, our best work occurs when we strategically apply thoughtful understandings of human nature and create environments which promote generosity in others.