Wisdom//

7 Leaders on Why Charitable Giving is Crucial to Your Success and Happiness

How has giving your time and efforts to others fueled your personal and professional well-being?

By Syda Productions/Shutterstock
By Syda Productions/Shutterstock

No matter where you are in your career, giving back should be part of your life plan. Here’s why these philanthropists and advisers in The Oracles believe in the importance of sharing your resources with others — and how you can give back regardless of where you are in life.

1. Giving and uplifting others is a way to pay it forward.

I’ve always been passionate about giving back. In particular, I get energy from mentoring young adults from underserved communities and helping them navigate their careers. Because I’ve had incredible mentors throughout my career, this is my way of paying forward what I’ve been so generously given.

No matter where you are in your career, there are others coming up behind you — whether they’re in school, in their first jobs, or learning how to be managers. Uplifting the next generation increases workplace satisfaction, builds connections, and fosters a culture of giving. —Ebony Beckwith, Chief Philanthropy Officer at Salesforce, a $100 billion company.

2. Giving re-energizes you and makes you better.

Since beginning philanthropy in my own life, I’ve found that when I’m away from it for a while, and in my often superficial universe, I start to feel that life lacks meaning. Engaging in philanthropic work gives you perspective and shows you what truly matters in life.

It also, consequently, makes you a better parent and truly sets an example for your children to help others who, at that moment, can’t help themselves. It connects you with others who want to help change the world, which re-energizes you.

I’ve been intrigued by the fact that the people who work the hardest to help others are the nurses, the teachers, the yoga instructors, etc. Their giving has inspired me. I appreciate how fortunate I am. Engaging in philanthropy reveals to those more fortunate who could use a boost and how you can help change lives.

After all, isn’t the whole reason we’re here and work day in and day out to make life better for others as much as, or even more than, for ourselves? —Bethenny Frankel, entrepreneur and philanthropist; founder of the Skinnygirl lifestyle brand and the charity BStrong, New York Times bestselling author, and Shark on “Shark Tank”; follow Bethenny on Twitter and Instagram.

3. Giving reminds you to shoot for the stars.

The desire to give back is one of the greatest gifts written into the hearts of humanity. You don’t have to look far to find someone who needs a friend, advice, or shelter. God provides each of us a generous bounty, which we can all share with the world through our time, money, love, or help.

I once met an Uber driver who was looking for advice. We talked about shooting for the stars and believing in yourself. After our discussion, I gave him my $4,000 telescope to reinforce that point and remind him where to focus.

Earlier that year, I tried desperately to help find a little girl who was abducted. And for my birthday, I sponsored three children through Food for the Hungry and raised money for children with cancer.

Opportunities to give to others are all around you; so pay attention and follow your heart. —Tom Albert, cybersecurity and artificial intelligence expert, and founder and CEO of MeasuredRisk, a leading enterprise risk management company; read how Tom and his team are changing the way the world sees risk and connect with him on LinkedIn.

4. Giving helps you accomplish your own goals.

Like many entrepreneurs, I used to prioritize long-term goals I thought would make a positive difference over small acts of charity. However, chances were good that I’d never have the world-changing impact I hoped for.

The effective altruism movement changed how I spend my time and money. I still chase long-term endeavors with potential for high impact, such as designing brain-machine interfaces to increase human agency. But I now also give back regularly to charities where I know my money can make a real difference.

For example, we donate 5% of the profits from AE Studio and encourage our community to help us select the recipients each month. This habit of giving back also prevents me from losing sight of why I do what I do and makes me more likely to accomplish my goals.

Most of us can improve others’ lives substantially at almost no cost; so, why not? —Judd Rosenblatt, founder and CEO of AE Studio, an Agile web development and data science company; realistic optimist about the future of humanity, with a mission to increase human agency with technology; vote for the charity they donate to next month.

5. Giving is vital for a happy, wealthy life.

When my daughters were born, I committed to give them the same chance at a successful career as any male. So I attended the Healthcare Businesswomen’s Association (HBA) Conference to discover ways my company could create opportunities for female leaders.

My eagerness to learn turned into anxiety and self-consciousness, as I was the only white male in the room. I gained something essential from that experience: empathy for those who are always in the minority. Whether you’re donating money or time, giving promotes happiness, draws us closer to others, and strengthens empathy. These are vital for a wealthy life, which starts from the inside.

After a certain point, more income doesn’t increase well-being — but empathetically giving to others does. That’s why I contribute to causes that will change one life somewhere, so we can change lives everywhere, which is a legacy we can all create when we give. —Michael O’Brien, executive business coach and founder of Peloton Coaching and Consulting; founder of The Pace Line Leadership Academy, and author of “Shift: Creating Better Tomorrows”; connect with Michael on Facebook and LinkedIn

6. Giving creates a culture of collaboration.

There’s a saying I love: If you want to keep it, you have to give it away. If you’ve had success in your career, it’s your obligation to give back. Take time to coach and mentor others.

Regardless of where you are in your career, everyone has something to share. We’ve all had experiences others can learn from. It could be unrelated to work, emotional advice, or a book recommendation. There are so many ways to help others improve their lives.

Sharing my experience with our real estate agents is one of the more fulfilling things I do each day.

Plus the more you help others, the more they help you. It creates tremendous loyalty and a real culture of collaboration that will ripple throughout your organization. When leadership gives back by helping their team members grow into the best versions of themselves, everyone starts helping each other. —Peter Hernandez, president of the Western Region at Douglas Elliman; founder and president of Teles Properties.

7. Giving builds consumer trust and attracts talent.

Philanthropy must be embedded in the purpose of every business and is fundamental for tackling societal issues. This also builds consumer trust and aligns employees, which ultimately improves profitability. For decades, corporations have succeeded by focusing only on the bottom line and shareholder value.

Today, customers want to know their dollars have an impact. Millennials, in particular, prioritize buying products from and working for companies that align with their values. These trends can’t be ignored.

We’re amidst a revolution of for-profit businesses that are inextricably linked to philanthropic initiatives, with companies like TOMS shoes, Bombas, Lululemon, and Nunbelievable — our baked goods company that provides meals to those in need.

As a result, you can see the passion in our current and prospective employees, investors, suppliers, and customers.

Talented employees can choose where they work in today’s economy, and those who choose us enjoy knowing they’re helping to end hunger. —Bryan Janeczko, co-founder and CEO of Nunbelievable, executive advisor of Loeb.nyc, and founder of the free startup idea validation tool Gro Xnamed one of Business Insider’s most powerful LGBTQ+ people in tech; connect with Bryan on LinkedIn.

Originally published on USA TODAY.

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