Why Do the Wealthy Give to Charity?
When history books look back at 21st-century billionaires Bill Gates and Warren Buffet, their dedication to charity and philanthropy will be a big part of the story. It may even eclipse the story of how they built their wealth.
Bill Gates, Microsoft founder, and Warren Buffet, founder and CEO of Berkshire Hathaway, along with hundreds of the planet’s wealthiest people, have signed The Giving Pledge. The Giving Pledge is a promise that a majority of their wealth will be dedicated to funding charitable causes. What drives these individuals to make such a commitment?
Being at peace with the world requires that we serve a purpose greater than our own material happiness. What good is financial-success if we never look beyond ourselves and use what we’ve earned to make the world a better place?
Giving Is Good for Your Health
Charitable contributions don't just give you that immediate rush of satisfaction and pride you get from helping someone else. A recent scientific study revealed that when two groups of people were given just $40 to spend, the group instructed to spend its part on charity showed a decrease in blood pressure compared to the group told to spend the money on themselves. In other words, giving to charity doesn’t just make you feel better; it has been shown to actually improve your health.
As The Giving Pledge notes in their mission statement, we live in innovative times when technology and advances in research promise great things for the future, but only if people interested in changing the world for the better come together to discuss how this may be accomplished through philanthropy.
What If You Aren’t Yet a Billionaire?
Remember, you don’t have to be rich to give to charity, and giving doesn’t necessarily mean handing over money. If you don’t have any to spare, you can donate your time, your skills, or your expertise to a cause that you believe in, and you may find that you get more in return than you expected.
By giving money or volunteering our time and skills to charitable causes, we put power and positivity behind our capital. When we focus only on how to get more for ourselves, we let what we’ve earned hold power over us. Giving to causes that we care about is a proven way to improve happiness and health, as modeled by the richest people in the world, and create better priorities on our path to financial success.
To learn more about The Giving Pledge... Browse their benefactors, read their mission statement, and sadly too ... arm yourself against humanitarian pledge scams.