The benefits of philanthropy go far beyond tax incentives. 

Donating to charities and other nonprofit organizations activates the reward center in your brain. A 2007 University of Oregon study that determined being charitable creates a positive response in your brain. This results in a surge of dopamine and endorphins that are released, rewarding you with feel-good chemicals for a job well done. Being charitable, as a result, equates to pleasure in our physiology. 

Therefore, assisting others when you have the opportunity will release more feel-good endorphins in your brain, making you happier than those who don’t participate in philanthropy as a result. This also contributes to overall life satisfaction; a 2008 German study also showed that people who give to others experience more satisfaction than those who do not throughout their lives. The same study showed, Communities with many people who give to others are generally more satisfied as a group than those who are more selfish. 

Giving will not only help yourself but help your community as well. While programs run by the government are instrumental in helping people that are struggling , it’s just as vital to give to community organizations. 

As we saw during the pandemic, community organizations implement local safety nets and keep people from falling through the cracks. Im a believer that because community groups has boots on the ground, they can respond faster and, in many cases, more appropriately to the specific groups they’re helping than national organizations. They also largely rely on private donations, so donating to these groups will assist your community in the long run. 

And one more side effect to note:  charitable giving may even help improve your physical health too. Those who volunteer regularly have proven to be healthier in many areas like reducing stress, lower blood pressure, and even better resilience during physical activity. 

So go ahead.. contribute a little more locally… It won’t hurt ya!