Why make donations to charity? That question was the subject of recent around-the-dinner-table discussions at my house.
Here’s the backstory – Mrs. Musings attended the 25th reunion of her Stanford Graduate School of Business class last year. And at the reunion a large number of people decided that they’d like to come together to give something back to the world. The group’s been meeting ever since to figure out exactly how this would be done. They’re coming to the idea of contributing money and their business expertise to organizations working with those less fortunate than themselves.
One question that’s come up is how to describe what they’re doing and why they’re doing it to some in their class who don’t have the same enthusiasm for making this donation. This led to our chat about what the reasons were for making charitable donations. Here are some that we thought of, including some that friends have suggested as well.
1) The world we live in works better for us all if everybody has a certain basic level of living. Having many people living in poverty can lead to civil unrest.
2) It’s good to have a safety net because we, or someone close to us, are going to need that someday.
3) Many religious traditions, including Christians and Jews, encourage their followers to help those in need.
4) It feels good to help improve society.
5) Some donate to specific causes that have touched their lives directly (AIDS support groups, cancer research, etc.).
6) Some give to reimburse the universe in part for all that they've been given. It’s a way to give thanks for all that they have.
7) Some see that the unequal distribution of wealth in this world is unjust and needs to be corrected insofar as possible. If this is to be a great country and a great world, everyone must be given an opportunity to succeed, not just a fortunate few.
7a) Many people work very hard at low paying jobs. It’s just to help them get basic necessities.