The one financial benefit that gets very little exposure is subject of giving. Stations like CNBC and Bloomberg provide us with 24 hour coverage of the markets and there are more personal finance blogs (like this one) than I can count but the topic gets almost no exposure.
Why are Estate Planners and Preachers the only ones that promote this?
The fear of giving
There is a feeling of uneasiness I get when speaking to an Estate Planner. It’s a form of fear, the same fear people have of dying but is wrapped up in an after-life financial plan.
I used to get a similar feeling every time I heard a sermon about tithing or scriptures about generosity. Do you get the same feeling?
Giving is not glamorous
News media covers breaking news in order to get your eyeballs to watch their programing. The more interesting the latest IPO or the more drastic the DOW drops, the better their viewership. Financial bloggers with headlines like “Giving is good” don’t get clicks but will improve their readership with headlines like “Which of these dangerous spending habits do you have?” Oh, that’s good. I need to write that one!
The mantra of “If it bleeds, it leads” is still applicable today. Stories about giving are not glamorous.
Or is it?
Have you ever watched an episode of “Extreme Makeover: Home Edition”? Ty Pennington and a group of designers tear down a lucky family’s house to erect a new one with all the latest advancements known to man. Regardless of the product placement and sponsorship mentions, the family receives a brand new house for FREE and we are the benefactors of good feelings from watching them “Move That Bus”.
Have you heard of Mother Teresa? She gave everything away – not just once but every time she received something. I wasn’t there and I have to rely on the many reports from others but that is how we remember her. I would call that glamorous!
It doesn’t solve people’s problems
Second only to entertainment, people search the internet, TV news, and library books for information on how to solve a problem. When looking for information on money, the last thing people are looking for is a lesson on how to give it away.
Ultimately, it doesn’t make financial sense to give money away. Other than a tax deduction, how could someone improve their finances by giving money away?
But it does solve problems!
We do need to talk about giving because it is a very important piece of a financial plan and spiritual life.
- Have a fear of losing money? Giving some of it away is YOU controlling where it will go
- Feeling bad about being a tightwad? Using your penny-pinching skills to fill a grocery bag with food for a needy family is a great way to shed some of that guilt
- Want to make sure your family will be taken care of after you are gone? Drawing up an estate plan with a will can release a lot of stress, I’ve experienced it myself.
Estate Planners and Preachers
Nobody wants to talk this, except Estate Planners and Preachers. They know the benefits of giving, just for different reasons.
Estate Planners are filling a need for those who have something to leave behind to their heirs, business partners, or favorite causes. It is a practical service that addresses tangible items like money, property, and shares in a business.
Preachers also fill a need when talking about giving, but it’s more of a state of mind and spiritual aspect that is being addressed from the pulpit. Giving makes us better people and more like Jesus. Is there a better purpose for our money than being more like Him? It is another way to solve our problems here on Earth that will pay big dividends in Heaven.
More messengers, more happiness
Our human nature is to pay attention to the things that are on fire but we should spend more of our time thinking about giving. Preachers and Estate Planners should not be the only ones that promote giving (and non-profits that are trying to raise donations).
I need to learn more about giving and am promoting it here in my Monday Messages.
How about you? Could you spend more of your valuable time focused on giving than on watching Dance Mom’s?
If you have a blog, please write about your experiences or feelings about giving and leave a link to it in the comments below. Thank you!