December 19, 2018
We’ve all heard the saying It’s better to give than to receive, and scientifically speaking, that’s actually true. A joint study out of UBC and Harvard found that regardless of income, people are happier when they spend money on others rather than on themselves. Research for the study was conducted on a global scale in countries as diverse as Canada and India, and what the researchers discovered was rather surprising. Turns out that no matter where we live or what our economic or social circumstances might be (whether we live in a mansion or a street hut), giving to others has the universal effect of generating feelings of happiness in ourselves.
Giving is on everyone’s mind in December. People gather to celebrate and share time together, and gifts of every sort change hands. Maybe that’s why the holiday season is known as the most wonderful time of the year. All that giving makes everyone feel fantastic.
In the midst of all the holiday hustle and bustle however, it can be easy to overlook those who need the gift of heartfelt giving most of all: charitable organizations who throughout the year, provide countless people with care and support in our communities. Demand for charitable services never diminishes. In fact, across Alberta, charities of all kinds are experiencing increases in the number of people they serve, due to the province’s extended economic downturn. The state of the economy is proving to be a double-edged sword for Alberta charity organizations; as demand for charitable services has gone up, donations to charitable causes have gone significantly down.
According to a Global News report, charitable donations decreased by 14.6% in Alberta between 2005 and 2015, and a steady decline continues thereafter. Donations in Calgary alone decreased a total of $105 million from 2015 to 2016, and local charities are really feeling the pinch. Calgary’s Women In Need Society, which provides support and everyday necessities to as many as 7,000 vulnerable women and children in the city each year, was at risk of closing its doors in 2018 because donations to the organization were down 40%.
Clearly, there’s never been a better time to start giving, and there are lots of ways to contribute. Alberta has over 19,000 non-profit and volunteer organizations and every single one of them needs our help.
Cash donations are always appreciated, but the gift of time is equally valuable. Without volunteers, charities and non-profit organizations couldn’t do what they do, so any time you can contribute to an organization is deeply appreciated. Volunteer Canada has links to information on volunteer opportunities in locations across in the country, so if you need inspiration on a cause to support, their website is a great place to start.
At Static Energy, children’s causes are near and dear to our hearts, so our charity of choice is Alberta Children’s Hospital. We are proud to support Raising Spirits, an independently run charity event in support of the hospital and the incredibly important work it does for Alberta families. Every penny from the event goes directly to The Children’s Hospital Foundation, and this year Static Energy donated $5,000 to the cause. We hope to expand upon our relationship with Raising Spirits and contribute further in the future through increased donations and time.
This holiday season, we challenge businesses across Alberta to make a donation to a charity of their choice. Times are tough for a lot of people, so it’s more important than ever that those of us who can give back, do.
Why should businesses give back?
We’ve already said that giving makes us feel good, but there are other important benefits that come from charitable giving too.
It Strengthens Corporate Values
When businesses donate to a charity whose work aligns with their own values, it reinforces the business’s corporate culture and helps to elevate overall morale within the organization. Positive work environments tend to be more productive, so giving is a win/win.
It Shows Leadership
Taking up a cause sends a powerful message to the business community, to customers and clients, and to society at large. It shows that you walk your talk, care passionately about your community, and take initiative in making a difference.
It’s a Great Way to Meet Great People
The very best sort of people give to charitable causes. They’re positive, happy, they have big hearts and very often, they are well connected in the community. Charitable giving not only helps others; it helps you expand your network and connections, and you get to know and work with a bunch of great new people.
It Improves Your Skill Set
Charitable work gives you the opportunity to put your skills to use in the name of a worthy cause. You’re constantly learning and growing as you do, and chances are you’ll learn a few new skills along the way.
Not sure where to start with charitable giving? Cision has a list of seven Alberta charities that made the Charity Intelligence list for top Canadian charitable organizations. Any one of them would be a great choice for giving this month.
From all of us here at Static Energy, we wish you a very happy holiday season, the joy that comes from giving, and much to be thankful for in 2019.