“Yeah…But What’s In It For ME?!?”

Okay, you’ve located your faithful “post-Thanksgiving” sweat pants, the dust has settled on “Black Friday” and “Cyber Monday” and you might have patronized your local shops for “Small Business Saturday.” AND it’s over, right?! Ummm… not exactly. In response to all the naked consumerism which seems to have overtaken Thanksgiving weekend, a few years ago a movement called “Giving Tuesday” hit the scene.

With a desire to put non-profit organizations and philanthropic charities into the “holiday frenzy” spotlight, the initial organizers sought to offer a different holiday perspective. So today, November 28th, the clock starts running on “Giving Tuesday.” We take just 24 hours to shift the focus from “gimme, gimme, gimme” to “give, give, give” – then everyone can go back to their particular brand of festivities. Honestly, it doesn’t seem like too much to give. And, in my personal opinion, it’s waaaaay too little!

Fortunately, corporate America seems to agree. Even King’s Ransom Foundation benefits from generous annual underwriting. Thanks to this corporate benefactor, all of our administrative expenses – salaries, lights, office space, computers, stamps, telephones, yep, EVERYTHING – are covered! This allows us to put every single cent from our donors, straight into whatever need they may designate.

And, while we’re on the subject of our amazing donors – c’mon, you had to know this was coming! YES… on this Giving Tuesday, count us among those non-profits and charities asking you to give. But first, let’s explore the concept of “philanthropy” a little deeper.

Exactly What IS “Philanthropy”?!

As an editor and writer, my two best friends are the dictionary and thesaurus. So, that’s where I started on my deep dive into “deep pockets.” And my first discovery immediately took a major myth about philanthropy and busted it WIDE OPEN! Check this out…

phi·lan·thro·py [fəˈlanTHrəpē]

NOUN: the desire to promote the welfare of others, expressed especially by the generous donation of money to good causes.
synonyms: benevolence · generosity · humanitarianism · public-spiritedness · altruism · social conscience · charity · charitableness · brotherly love · fellow · feeling · magnanimity · munificence · liberality · largesse · openhandedness · bountifulness · beneficence · unselfishness · humanity · kindness · kindheartedness · compassion · almsgiving

We’ve come to think of “Philanthropists” (yes, Capital P) as those proverbial “deep pockets” I alluded to earlier. But, in the purest definition, ANYONE can be a philanthropist. BOOM… mind BLOWN!!! And those folks who donate the big bucks, getting their names on buildings and parks and hospitals and schools, fill a critical void in our world. But, you don’t need your name on a plaque to reap the benefits of philanthropy!

BENEFITS?! What Benefits?

That’s right, BENEFITS. No matter how big your heart, the depths of your humanitarianism, your endless compassion, deep down inside – maybe buried way down in your subconscious – we ALL have a basic egotism. Something known as the “What’s In It For Me” motivation. Whether you choose to acknowledge it or not, it DOES exist. And, more importantly, it’s not a bad thing… just an inbred human survival instinct. That is, IF you figure out your WIIFM!

For money people, their WIIFM reason to give may be the tax deduction, donor matches or the percentage of their donation directed to care they can personally designate. For those who want to ensure a positive legacy, a WIIFM could actually be having that name on a plaque or establishing a charitable trust that will far out-live them. They want that positive association with their name, for generations to come. Others find their WIIFM in an emotional connection, maybe a warm childhood memory or something with deeply personal meaning. And, finally, some derive pure joy just from the act of giving, knowing they’ve made someone, somewhere,  happier, safer, better. Surprisingly, they too have a WIIFM – and I can personally attest to this one – the overflowing of “feel-good” endorphins whenever I give. I do good, I feel good. It’s that simple.

Give To Get!

However, I’m not hanging a halo over my head or presenting myself as some total altruist! Sure, I reap the immediate emotional benefits. Just as all those other WIIFMs see their direct results. But, that’s just the icing on the cake. The REAL rewards come from a divine source:

“A generous person will prosper; whoever refreshes others will be refreshed.” (Proverbs 11:25)

“The one who is gracious to the poor lends to the LORD, and the LORD will repay him for his good deed.” (Proverbs 19:17)

“Give, and it will be given to you. A large quantity, pressed together, shaken down, and running over will be put into your lap, because you’ll be evaluated by the same standard with which you evaluate others.” (Luke 6:38)

“Good comes to those who lend money generously and conduct their business fairly. Such people will not be overcome by evil. Those who are righteous will be long remembered. They do not fear bad news; they confidently trust the LORD to care for them.” (Psalm 112:5-7)

I don’t know about you, but this sounds like one SWEET deal to me. I do my part for others, GOD multiplies my blessings, prospers my work, ensures my security… who could ASK for a better investment?!? Imagine the possibilities with Him as your financial manager and investment advisor. WOAH! But you don’t have to simply “imagine”… TODAY, Giving Tuesday, gives you the opportunity to actually start putting Him to work for YOU.

So regardless of whether your particular WIIFM is fiscal, emotional, charitable or memorial in nature, on this particular day your donation to King’s Ransom can multiply your BENEFITS: immediate, tangible rewards; fulfilling an innate desire to be kind and compassionate, by participating in a major charitable initiative; AND the long-term financial, business and personal dividends He promises. And, I’m positive God’s Word is a sure bet!

Coming Full Circle…

Now, back to the original idea of Giving Tuesday and the whole philanthropy thing. Certainly, using whatever resources you may have available to benefit others, will always be a good and admirable choice. Knowing, without a doubt, you will be rewarded for these actions… a no-brainer. But it’s about MORE! It’s about seeing yourself as a philanthropist, someone with a desire to promote the welfare of others. Don’t dismiss this simple definition. See, I know you harbor this desire – or you wouldn’t be READING this. So, now armed with the knowledge of your own WIIFM, today can mark your beginning of lifelong philanthropy!

Okay, take a deep breath… the post-Thanksgiving frenzy is almost over. You survived the feast, the harried shoppers, the endless emails and now you’re finally into the homestretch with Giving Tuesday and the finish line is in sight. Quite the mad dash, this past weekend! Yet, ironically, amid all the pre-Thanksgiving preparations, National Philanthropy Day quietly slipped by last Wednesday. Maybe 24 hours to focus exclusively on giving to others is long-overdue!

Join us in celebrating Giving Tuesday, support the mission of your choice, find YOUR motivation to give… THEN, share your WIIFM or story with our social media communities on FacebookTwitterInstagram, and YouTube. Bottom line, we must acknowledge our own “Yeah… sure, giving is a nice idea – but, what good does it do ME?!” motivation. Then, put it to WORK by giving!

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