December is a special time of the year when generosity blooms to its fullest. What makes us so special? Why do we give? Do we give because we care so much about others, or does it just feel good to give?
I believe it is a mixture of both.
Studies show that giving to others achieves a sense of self-determination and, ultimately, greater happiness.
“People who give money to charity are 43% more likely than non-givers to say they are very happy. Volunteers are 42% more likely to be happy than non-volunteers,” according to Arthur C. Brooks, an American social scientist, musician, and the president of the American Enterprise Institute, a conservative think tank.
So if you care about more than just you and your family and actually help make things better for others, you may find more happiness.
Generosity comes in many forms, but I’ll be honest. The most needed form of generosity for nonprofits are monetary contributions. Every donation, even the smallest one, carries enormous significance. It is not just the money – don’t get me wrong – all nonprofits need money. However, it means a lot more.
Financial contributions to charity are as a symbol of recognition and a stamp of approval for all the hard work done by the nonprofit’s staff and board of directors. This is how communities prove this organization is really needed. This is how organizations get that sweet sense of belonging in the neighborhood or family – the best sense ever.
Musical Bridges Around the World was born out of the generosity of a small group of physicians, who wanted to bring a new music experience to San Antonio. My piano partnership with fellow Russian, Alena Gorina, was the result of the generosity of Drs. Eric and Michelle Miller, who purchased our concert at a fundraising gala, inspiring us to play together more. Generosity gives life to many creative endeavors. Generosity gives hope. Generosity lights the way to a better world. I truly believe if every person donates to the charity of their choice with any amount that is comfortable for them, the world will be a much better place.
I have to admit I have a soft spot for the arts. San Antonio is fortunate to be home to many wonderful performing and visual arts nonprofits and all of them need your support. Miracles happen, corporations and foundations occasionally award very large gifts, and those are very special moments.
But your support is priceless. Please consider supporting charities close to your heart this December. It feels great to give, and it feels great to work for an organization supported by the local community.
Let’s change the world through generosity.
*Top Image: Musical Bridges Around the World Artistic Director & CEO Anya Grokhovski. Courtesy Photo.