Making charitable donations does not need to come at the cost of your financial plan. In fact, it is common for a sound financial plan to include charitable donations. This list does not focus on the tax benefits of including charitable giving in your financial plan. The list below outlines just a few of the many reasons why including charitable giving in your financial plan can help you to feel happier and healthier.
Giving is Easy
There are many different places to make a monetary donation which means that it is easy to find a solution that best fits into your financial plan. You can set up a monthly, weekly, or even yearly donation that goes straight out of your account, so you don’t have to think about it. The hardest part about fitting charitable giving in your financial plan is not organizing the payments but choosing the charity to donate to.
You don’t have to give a set amount; you can choose the type of donation and the amount you are giving to suit your financial plan. Even if you don’t have the money to regularly be making a large donation every month, you can still make a difference. Figure out how much money you can afford to donate and work that into your financial plan. Just remember, no effort is too small to make a difference.
Giving Makes You Feel Good
Charitable giving does not only do good; it makes you feel good too. Research has found that giving to charity activates parts of the brain that are associated with human connection and social support. Charitable giving has a direct impact on the brain, promoting the increase of chemicals like endorphins, oxytocin, and dopamine. Studies do not only show the effect that charitable giving has on your mental wellbeing but compares the effects with other alternatives. Findings show that charitable giving makes you feel better than receiving money or spending that money on yourself. Making regular charitable donations has also been found to decrease your risk of depression and depressive symptoms.
It is Good for Your Health
Not only does charitable giving help to improve your mental wellbeing, but it also has benefits on your physical health. Studies have found that regularly giving to charity (whether that is by volunteering, donating money, or fundraising) benefits your health in a range of ways.
Probably the most influential health benefit of charitable giving is on lowering stress levels. Research conducted at John Hopkins University found that people who donate to charity regularly have lower cortisol levels (stress hormone) than those who do not. Lower stress levels greatly impact reducing blood pressure and other physical problems that are direct contributors to heart conditions and diseases.
A study conducted at Harvard found that giving to charity can have a positive effect on the immune system. Participants of the study were found to have higher levels of antibodies in their systems after charitable giving.