Most people think they have to donate a lot of time and money in order to make a difference. But there are simple ways to integrate giving into our personal and professional lives that don’t involve either. In Simple Giving, Jennifer Iacovelli shows us how to make giving a part of our daily routines. It can involve something as simple as holding the door open for a stranger or paying someone else’s toll, which will brighten that person’s day. We can also think about ways to make sustainability and social good a part of our business models.
After working in the nonprofit sector and soliciting and coordinating donations for ten years, Iacovelli became frustrated with the disconnect between givers and receivers. Givers (or potential givers) didn’t realize how much of an impact they could make, while recipients couldn’t thank the organization enough. In Simple Giving, Iacovelli inspires us with the stories of how people ranging from moms to social entrepreneurs are giving back in creative ways. By being more mindful of how our actions impact others and taking steps toward positive change, we also live happier and more fulfilled lives.
|Publisher:||Penguin Publishing Group|
|Product dimensions:||4.60(w) x 7.00(h) x 0.70(d)|
|Age Range:||18 Years|
About the Author
Read an Excerpt
Giving Model 1:
Everyday Acts of Kindness
No act of kindness, no matter how small, is ever wasted. --Aesop
Three things in human life are important. The first is to be kind. The second is to be kind. And the third is to be kind. --Henry James
As we dive into our models of giving, we start with the simplest form of all. Kindness. Kindness is the simple quality of being considerate, friendly, and generous to others. An act of kindness can change the trajectory of your entire day, whether you are performing the act or on the receiving end. Think about how good it feels to have a friendly stranger give you a big smile while walking down the street or to help an elderly neighbor bring groceries into the house.
Performing random acts of kindness has become a popular activity and is particularly common after tragic events, reminding us to be more considerate of others. You may have heard stories of people helping strangers in natural disasters or paying for someone else’s toll in honor of the victims of a heartbreaking event such as the shootings at Sandy Hook Elementary School. These acts of giving make sense when you consider them as a way of coping with the reality of such horrific and life-changing events. We are searching for meaning. We want reassurance that people are indeed humane.
The results of these kind actions are astounding because they often create a chain reaction. One person does something good, and the recipient of that good deed wants to pay it forward and do something kind for someone else. The kindness continues, whether the first person realizes it or not. That’s where the fun comes in, because you often perform the act of kindness with the hope that you will make someone’s day and that it will continue on from person to person. Who knows what kind of difference you can make in someone’s life? It almost becomes a game.
Social scientists James Fowler and Nicholas Chistakis have shown that acts of generosity and kindness are indeed contagious. Happiness can be spread, and if we are with people who are happy, their happiness rubs off on us.
To me, performing an act of kindness is a gateway that leads to more giving. Even if you’re not ready to make a huge commitment, incorporating small, everyday acts of kindness into your life could lead you to bigger philanthropic endeavors. Your good deeds provide you with that rush of happiness when you give, and it doesn’t take much time or effort to complete one.
The best thing about everyday acts of kindness is that you can perform them with little to no money. You can also easily incorporate these acts into your day. In fact, you may already be carrying out acts of kindness without realizing it. Here are some examples:
• Holding open a door for a stranger
• Allowing a busy mom with kids to cut in front of you in the checkout line (much appreciated!)
• Letting someone take a left turn in traffic
• Paying for a stranger’s coffee at your local café
• Helping an older person load groceries into her car
• Bringing dinner over to a neighbor’s house
• Delivering doughnuts to the local fire department (one of our favorites!)
• Picking up trash in your neighborhood
• Paying someone a compliment
• Writing a thank-you note
• Offering free babysitting to a couple or a single parent who could use a night out
• Smiling at strangers
• Donating used books (in good condition) to your local library