Why do you give?

February 06, 2020

Generally, giving to charity is considered a ‘good’ thing. We admire those who do charitable work or who donate generously, and we might feel good about ourselves when we do the same.

But perhaps we have never reflected on what our personal motivations are for doing so? What are we really trying to achieve? It might seem like the obvious answer for most is ‘it feels right’ or ‘I want to help,’ but if we dig a little deeper, there might be more to it than that.

We think it’s worth reflecting on your motivations for giving, for two main reasons:

  1. Once you know why you are giving you are in a much better position to decide on where to give.
  2. Clarifying why you are giving can make donating more satisfying. Giving becomes an expression of your values, rather than something you do to tick a box or because you feel as though you ‘really ought to.’

Inspired by research from Hope Consulting, we think of there being four main reasons for giving:

1. You want to ‘give back’

You have been personally impacted by a particular issue, and it’s important to you to support organisations who either have directly helped you (or a loved one), or who work to address this issue. You know from first-hand experience the difference a particular charity can make, and want to expand the benefit to a wider group.

2. High Impact

You are a maximiser. You are less concerned with the particular cause area that you are supporting, you just want to ensure that your donation has the greatest social impact it can have. You might focus on underserved causes so that your donation can have the highest possible social impact relative to wherever else you could have given.

3. Personal Ties

You give to causes that people you know are involved in. You see that they are doing good work, you are impressed and humbled, and you want to do your bit to help your loved ones succeed in their noble endeavours.

4. See the difference

For you, seeing is believing. You want to feel confident that your donation is making a tangible difference, and so you give to organisations whose work you get to experience, and whose impact you get to see. Whether this is a charity in your local community, or an overseas organisation that you spent a summer volunteering for, you feel closely connected to the work that your donation pays for.

We find it’s worth taking the time to reflect on what your reasons for giving are and note that it’s likely you will identify with more than one of the above categories. This is why we enable you to build a portfolio of charities through Tyve. Building a portfolio allows you to spread your giving out over a number of charities so that you can honour all the values you have that motivate you to give.

So, whether you fit neatly into one category or are a combination of all four, clarifying your motivations can make giving more impactful and rewarding. With a little thought, you can not only make sure that you find the giving opportunities that most reflect these motivations, but you can give wholeheartedly, knowing that your charitable engagement is helping fulfil your values, and as such, playing a significant part in you leading the kind of life you want to lead.


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