Why Charity Is More Than Just Donating Money

Charity Is More Than Just Donating Money

I believe charity is more than just donating money. When I did the marathon, I didn’t just want a ballot place and raise money for a random cause.

I’m not a fan of just picking a charity and fund-raising for the sake of it. I want it to mean something.

I’m not knocking the idea of raising money for charity, but I am saying that putting money towards a charity or donating just because you’ve been coerced, or you are feeling guilty, is definitely the wrong way to go. The other thing that I find bizarre is donating just to make yourself feel good, or feel less guilty, about the bad things you’ve done. It’s no joke. I’ve heard people say ‘yes I did this but I donate to a charity’ as if to say their actions can be justified because of some cosmic, karmic equation.

So Many Causes

Charity is more than just donating money. It’s not easy in this day and age, financially speaking, for many people and yet because there are so many fund-raising events and charity races, on a weekly basis, I’m asked to make anywhere from 1 -5 separate donations a week. I was, until recently, giving to all of them because I wasn’t making any other regular donations but now I’ve made the decision to stop.

It’s not like I will never donate again, it’s just that I will be more decisive about the ones I give too and which charities I wish to help. There is no shame in discriminating the charity you’re giving money too. The truth is that not all charities are honest and the money doesn’t always necessarily get to the people who really need it. So don’t feel guilty about saying no. Do your homework and find a charity you feel you really want to support.

Don’t worry if you don’t have money either. Does it make you a bad person if you don’t donate? Of course not. The contrary is often true in that people without often really appreciate they help they are given. And if you really want to be able to do something there are more ways to be charitable. Here are just a few:

1. Charity Is More Than Just Donating Money – Silent Blessings

While I was India trying to rescue my mum we were in dire need of money. Many people couldn’t help financially and all they could offer was their prayers. I appreciated them wholeheartedly. Whether you’re a believer in silent blessings or not; at least people felt like they were helping in their own way. We honestly don’t know if the vibrations of prayers have an impact but they absolutely do no harm; as far as I’m concerned, they do nothing but good. The sceptics of silent blessings can kiss my ass, after which I will offer them a silent blessing! 😛

2. Charity Is More Than Just Donating Money – Volunteering

Volunteering is the most fun form a charity you can do. I go and work with disabled kids while we play sports…I couldn’t ask for a better deal. I help kids and get to have fun at the same time. I’ve made some wonderful friends from being there too. People I will no doubt consider good friends for years to come. Yes, I may not be giving much money, but I’m giving much more; my heart, spirit, time and energy. Four things that you cannot put a price tag on. I’ve even made a fool out of myself for those kids but had a giggle while doing it.

3. Charity Is More Than Just Donating Money – Other Incognito Forms Of Charity

There are many ways to be charitable in an incognito way. You can walk past a beggar, stop and have a conversation with them. Maybe give them an alternate gift. Maybe buy them a warm cup of soup and have good ol’ chin-wag. Find out who they really are and really listen. Tell them who you are. Make it and equal exchange.

You can help friends, loved ones and all of these are forms of charity. Teaching someone a new skill for free. Help someone set up their website or help someone with their C.V. Giving people the gift of your time is the greatest form of incognito charity.

4. Charity Is More Than Just Donating Money – Donating Anonymously

The last thing I want to say about this is giving money anonymously. This concept has always struck a positive nerve with me. Why? I believe it’s the selfless form of charity. Not getting recognition for the gift you’ve given. Doing it completely selflessly without the need for praise, fame or even acknowledgement. You just do it because you believe in that cause and really want to help.

And Finally…

Think about why you’re giving. Are you truly giving because you want to or because you feel like you have to?

30 Responses

  1. Amit,

    This is super, I have done all five steps! It may not make me famous but sure feels good. No matter, if your run a marathon or not, you can make a huge difference.

    I also do : random act of kindness whenever I can, like cleaning up garbage left in national park, putting money in expired parking meter etc.
    .-= New at Zengirl @ Heart and Mind’s blog ..How to find your core values : Part 1 =-.

    • Amit Sodha says:

      That’s a great one Zengirl, putting money in an expired parking meter! ARK’s are a fab way of doing charity, incognito or otherwise. So glad you appreciated the thoughts behind this piece and that you’ve already been doing them. Have a fab day.

  2. Amit,

    Forgot to mention, I like a few minor changes on your site look and new ebook!! congratulations!
    .-= New at Zengirl @ Heart and Mind’s blog ..How to find your core values : Part 1 =-.

  3. And another question… Are we giving just to be seen? There have been times when I gave and in hindsight I had to look at the reason I was giving, was I giving just to show that I had the money to give? That’s another important question we should ask ourselves.

    • Amit Sodha says:

      Hey Jarrod, Great question to ask the self. I won’t lie because I’m totally guilty of it too but I’ve changed the way I think about donating to charity and being charitable in recent months.

  4. Ebook…i see and ebook! YAY! Hey I’m already an email subscriber…do I get it automatically ???hmmm
    As for donating…i often remember a quote by one of my spiritual teachers…”do good with one hand, so that event he other hand doesnt know about it.” Thats what true giving and donating is all about..right! I feel like if people know about my donations..somehow..my ego feeds off it. So anonymous is best for my own growth too 🙂
    Much Love,

  5. Topi says:

    Hi Amit,
    I’ve never understoond people who donate money, and then make a song and dance about it like it’s bought them some good karma or something. I see donating as a privilege, something that you do because it’s right and you can, and that makes your life blessed. I’ve also been very fulfilled by helping a charity that helps get people back to work – I get to use my recruitment experience to help people practice for job interviews. Again, that’s a privilege for me, and I’m lucky to be able to do it, and I get enormous satisfaction from it (the return is much greater than the investment).

    • Amit Sodha says:

      Hi Topi, it’s wonderful to have you comment on the blog and you’ve mentioned something important in the exchange part. Yes you are doing a wonderful thing and you can be proud of that. You understand you’re doing something wonderful in exchange for giving people an incognito gift which ultimately translates into value for them. Something very precious.

  6. Cheryl Paris says:

    Hello Amit,

    Yes I agree with Zeenat as donating anonymously works better for me as it does not feed my ego. And I truly like your idea to offer support by volunteering. I know it is difficult with our jobs and schedule but if we decide we can surely schedule an appointment for volunteering as well.

    Bye for now,
    .-= New at Cheryl Paris’s blog ..How to Overcome the Fear of Public Speaking =-.

    • Amit Sodha says:

      Indeed Cheryl and it’s not a huge thing to add in a couple hours of charity work a week or even a month. There are so many different ways to help. Zengirl mentioned a different kind of way and there are loads of people who participate in park clean ups and so many other things.

  7. I agree with all points and also love the quote Z. speaks of. True humility. And I believe silent blessings have been proven they world. An author named Dossey has done much research on the topic. Can’t remember his first name! Good luck with the London marathon. The idea alone rocks!

    • Amit Sodha says:

      Hi Tess, thank you for bringing that author to my attention, I will definitely check it out and I’ll post up quarterly updates on my progress for the marathon. 😉

  8. rob white says:

    Hi Amit,
    I love your last point about giving anonymously. This is very wise. On a small scale, it is also interesting to notice that when we give a small tip to a coffee server or a homeless person to notice if we are doing it for approval. We can all get caught in the game of secretly waiting to be seen giving the tip. It is quite enlightening to see how you feel after putting a tip in the tip jar without anybody noticing. Thanks for the post.

    • Amit Sodha says:

      It kind of made me chuckle when you said that Rob as I did something recently…lets say, a kind gesture…and I couldn’t resist and I told someone about it. It was hard not too but there was some kind of gratification in telling that person…shame one me! There is something special about doing the good deeds anonymously.

  9. Roman Soluk says:

    For me charity is something really important. If I had a possibility I would do it constantly. The reason is truly want to help people!
    .-= New at Roman Soluk’s blog ..The main benefits of walking outdoors =-.

  10. Keith Davis says:

    Hi Amit
    Not sure if I’m easy with “donating just because you’ve been coerced” – I didn’t realise that the London Marathon worked like that. Makes me a little uneasy.
    I organise a yearly collection for a large charity – it’s all done very quietly, minimum fuss and we raise about £15 / 16k.
    Perhaps next year I’ll have to set a minimum limit on what each of my collectors collect. LOL

    • Amit Sodha says:

      Keith, Happy new year and my deepest apologies for not replying sooner! That’s sounds like a great way that your charity does it. I’m currently looking for a charity that I can donate to for my marathon attempt. I’m still looking to do this anonymously in some way but so far I haven’t quite come up with a suitable strategy. Thanks for you comments! 🙂

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