Donating to a charity makes you feel good, and it’s good for the people with whom you share the world. However, if you’re still considering whether or not you want to part with some of your hard earned cash for the greater good, you may be interested to know that recent studies have shown a number of additional benefits of donating to charity. Harvard Business School has identified five ways that giving to charity can actually benefit the giver as well as the recipient.

 

Tax Deductions

 

One of the biggest benefits of donating to charity for the donor is purely practical in nature. Donations can be written off on year-end taxes, earning the donor potentially hefty tax breaks. If you prefer to donate your time, you can also recoup some of your costs on your taxes. Report any costs you incur while doing volunteer work for charity, including gas, parking or the cost of supplies. Keep an itemized list of items you donate during the year or costs you incur and have the charity you donate to sign off on it, then attach a copy of the list to your taxes.

 

Sense of Purpose

 

Donating to charity also has less tangible benefits. For example, many people find that they feel a renewed sense of purpose in their lives after they begin donating to charity. You may spend most of your time working for someone else. Though this results in financial gain, it may not be all you need to be happy. Emotional well-being and feeling like a part of a community is also important.

 

Spiritual Strength

 

Many religious belief systems have charitable giving as a central tenant. Donating time and money to charity can help you feel as if you have done your spiritual duty, leading to a sense of inner peace and well-being.

 

Power of Information

 

There are a lot of different charities out there, and finding out which ones are most worth donating to can require significant study. However, this isn’t necessarily a bad thing. Research can help you become informed about causes around the world. You may learn about a worthy charity you didn’t even know existed.

 

Social Well-Being

 

Working with a charity is also a great way to expand your social circle and meet new people. Since all your new acquaintances are drawn to the same charity, you can rest assured you have at least one thing in common with them.

 

There are a lot of potential ways to spend your money. However, donating to charity may be a better use of your funds than you knew.

 

Peter Norman, Staff Writer for ThyBlackman.com