Wednesday, November 17, 2010

The Act of Giving

A few days ago, I ran a $10 donation contest to ask readers to suggest charities that I could give to and I would reward them by donating $10 to the charity that they mention.

Lately, I have been thinking about philantrophy and how I could incorporate it into my life or maybe even incorporate it into part of my family's legacy. This was after reading the news about the Khoo's family donation to NUHS.

The act of giving is something mysterious and lovely at the same time. Personally, I have found that giving away my money to charities makes me feel that all my work is not in vain. At least I am helping someone who is needy.

Meaning of Philanthropy

"We make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give." - Winston Churchill, British prime minister (1874-1965)

The word "philanthropy" is derived from the Greek word philos (love) and anthropos (mankind). Loosely translated, it means "love for mankind". The act of philanthropy can thus be generally defined as the giving of one's money, time, information, goods and services, voice or influence to the general improvement of the well-being of humanity.

If you have given away things before, you ought to understand that there is a certain joy that can be derived from giving.

How much to Give?

How much one should give is dependent on many factors. Giving money away can sometimes be as complicated as making money! Here are some general guidelines when it comes to giving:

1. Know your income level and how long you wish to continue giving. No point giving away everything till you go broke. You should find a level that is comfortable enough. You can't match the millions that the rich are giving away, but surely a few dollars can be spared? While some people might choose to make monthly contributions to their charity of choice, others prefer to make only one-off donations. This all boils down to preference and comfort level.

2. Identify areas you are passionate in. Giving is much easier if you are giving to an area you are passionate in. If you like children, donating to a children's charity makes sense. The key idea is to donate to causes which you believe in and are passionate about.

3. Read up, Track progress, Be clear about expectations. There are just so many charities out there. Just the other day, I learnt about this new charity called the Rainbow Club. I have never heard of it before had I not started the blog post asking readers for suggestions. This goes to show that there are so many organisations out there and it might be worthwhile to read up more, track each of these organisation to see what they are doing differently from the rest and also tailor your expectations on how your money will be put to good use.


  1. That's right! what is the point of becoming wealthy yet keeping the wealth to yourselves? it would be a waste.

    Start changing lives now by giving. :)

  2. Yes. It is useless to hoard wealth. We should learn to give it away.


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