Everyday Philanthropy

We’ve all heard of the philanthropic undertakings of the millionaires and billionaires around the world and hoped to one day be able to do the same. But what if you could, even without needing a six-figure salary to get started? You can. Philanthropy is the act of sharing something, big or small, with someone in need. You have talents, skills and a unique community around you that qualify you to become the perfect full-fledged philanthropist. Here are five ways to practice everyday philanthropy.

Habitual Kindness
Foster a habit of being kind all day, every day. Kindness goes beyond simply being polite, it requires you to take the extra step to be generous and considerate as well. The difference is thinking deeper than superficial niceties by transitioning pleasant words into actionable care. Generosity inspires us to give more than is required. Consideration motivates us to be selfless in our thinking by employing empathy and thoughtfulness.

Use Your Free Time for Good
When a rare free moment presents itself, make use of it! You may only have an hour or even as little as a few minutes, but whatever time you do have can be put to good use. Consider these examples. If you are on the road and pass a fellow driver with a blown tire, pull over and ask how you can help. If you’re driving and have a very limited amount of free time, think smaller and use those spare moments to give a fellow driver time to safely merge in front of you. The goal is to look for ways to help throughout the day because no deed is too small.

Small Frequent Donations
You may not have tons of extra money lying around for the sole purpose of philanthropy and that’s ok. Small donations have helped many people in need. If you are able, vow to allocate a small amount to be set aside on a regular basis for donations. You can then take that money and distribute it how you see fit. Whether you choose to pay for a stranger’s meal, buy lemonade from a young entrepreneur’s stand or donate to a GoFundMe campaign, your dollars can make a difference.

Be a Good Neighbor, Friend, Coworker and Family Member
You don’t have to limit your philanthropic work to major charities or foundations, you can think local and improve the lives of the people in your circle. Many people around you could use a helping hand, but rarely ask out of fear of burdening others. Make it known that you are willing to fill in the gap. Let your friends, family, neighbors and coworkers know that you are looking for ways to help around the community and would love to contribute your time, skills or company. You’ll be surprised by just how many of the people around you are struggling in ways that you never knew.

Be Aware
The last way to expand your philanthropy is to be persistently observant. The more aware you are, the more you’ll start to see the vast number of philanthropic needs that surround you every day. Be an active listener and you’ll start to hear unresolved problems that you may be able to help with. Open your heart to unexpected opportunities that will allow you to contribute to the lives of others. Once you tune in, as a willing ally, your next philanthropic venture will find you.

Kindness is contagious. Why not be the one who starts the chain? It doesn’t take much to make a large impact in someone else’s life. Everyday philanthropist make the world a better place by taking the initiative to create a difference.

Brad and Julie DuncanEveryday Philanthropy
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Have You Been Generous? Year-End Reflections For A Better 2019

“Giving pays the highest interest rate, and has the longest term,
of any investment available.” Jeffrey K. Wilson

It seems like just yesterday you welcomed 2018 with a bang and in a flash, the last month of the year is here! If you are wondering where the year went and how well you have done, a little self reflection can help. There are many ways to measure how fruitful the year has been but one unique way to do it is by assessing how generous you have been. The positive effect of of even a simple act of kindness can inspire others to pay it forward.

Generosity can be life changing and is likely to have a ripple effect. If you exerted efforts to give back to society, then you can indeed conclude that it had been a wonderful and productive year. Reflecting on your philanthropic endeavors can likewise help you prepare for a better year ahead. It is a great way to wrap up up the year and welcome the new one on a positive note. Here are three questions to ask yourself for a meaningful year-end reflection.

Are you sincere and passionate about giving?

Philanthropy is a rewarding activity for many reasons. For one, a study revealed that a caring attitude increases life expectancy. However, the benefits that you will gain from altruism should not be your primary reason for doing good deeds. Your journey on philanthropy will be purposeful if you do it with a genuine desire to extend a helping hand to others.

Forget your selfish reasons and focus on how your actions can benefit others than yourself. our sincerity will not be a question if you truly enjoy doing philanthropic activities. It will therefore greatly help to choose a cause that is close to your heart or will allow you to do the things you love. If you are passionate about doing charitable work, your actions are likely to feel more rewarding than tiring.

Do you practice philanthropy in your daily life?

Charitable activities may bring to mind a formal volunteering event or supporting a particular fundraising campaign. The true philanthropist, though, understands that being charitable is not a one-time act or event. Rather, it is a way of life. If you pay close attention to the needs of others you can discover numerous ways to practice philanthropy as you go about your day. So grab any chance you can get to offer help to the people you interact with everyday. Try incorporating generosity in your daily agenda and you may just see positive improvement in your life.

What else can you do to give more?

If you have been regularly contributing to a particular cause, you can discover more ways to serve others or help an organization. Maybe you can recruit more volunteers or train new ones. You can probably act as a leader of a team, too. Growth is possible even in your philanthropic life so do not be afraid to take new and more challenging responsibilities if you feel ready for it.

In the end, your reflection regarding philanthropy can make you feel accomplished or melancholic. In case your reflection leads to an awareness that 2018 has not been good in terms of altruistic activities, resist the urge to wallow in regret. The good news is that you still have December to share your blessings and spread kindness. You do not have to worry f your holiday schedule is so full that it is impossible to squeeze in philanthropy on your list. With the new year approaching, you will soon have twelve whole months to plan and carry out generous activities.

Brad and Julie DuncanHave You Been Generous? Year-End Reflections For A Better 2019
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3 Random Acts of Kindness to Show Your Gratitude This Thanksgiving

Amongst the meal preparations, the holiday celebrations, the chaos and all the excitement that comes along with Thanksgiving, it’s easy to forget the reason we celebrate the last Thursday of November every year. When you gather around the table this year, make sure you and your family don’t forget to show your gratitude and give thanks this season. Here are 3 random acts of kindness that can remind us all of the importance of showing gratitude for the blessings in our lives this year.  

Send flowers to a friend in need this year

Holidays are always a bit harder if you’ve recently lost a loved one or undergoing trying or stressful circumstances. So if you know of a friend who might not be as joyful this Thanksgiving, go out of your way to brighten up their day in any way you can. Sending flowers to someone reminds them you are thinking of them and gives them another reason to recognize the blessings in their life.

Check in with an old friend

This time of year is always the busiest between holiday preparations and celebrations. Not to mention, as years go by, life happens, people move away, and things change. But don’t let your hectic schedule become an excuse to lose touch with some of your oldest friends. Even if you haven’t talked in months, pick up the phone and give that friend a call to wish them the warmest and loveliest Thanksgiving this year. Let them know that regardless of how much time has passed, you are still thankful for your friendship and how it has allowed you to grow as a person.

Send thank you notes

With emails and text messages, snail mail has become a bit of a lost art. But bring back the old-fashioned way to show your gratitude by writing out a thoughtful thank you note to anyone in your life who you are thankful for. That’s what the holiday is for after all. Tell your friends you whatever it is you appreciate about them. It can be as simple as letting them know you are thankful they are a part of your life or as specific as thanking them for helping you get through a major period in your life. Whatever you thank them for, make sure your thank you note is genuine and sincere.

Make sure you celebrate Thanksgiving this year by practicing different random acts of kindness to show your gratitude and let others know you are thinking of them this holiday season.

Brad and Julie Duncan3 Random Acts of Kindness to Show Your Gratitude This Thanksgiving
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