Giving Feels Good

The world smiled less in 2020 as the COVID-19 pandemic ravaged communities and left its thumbprint on vulnerable populations.1 In many ways, the pandemic magnified preexisting disparities and inequalities. With blaring headlines and constant noise, we can lose sight of the good happening all around us, but when we genuinely see positive life change and smiles, we cannot help but become addicted to bettering our communities.

The Smallest Act Has Power

At times, practicing generosity can feel small when the issues around us appear big. The pandemic reminds us that the magic of doing good is consistency, not the size of a gift. Never should we discount our power to create impact through gratitude and small acts of kindness. Together we focus on the glimmers of hope and work to make them shine brighter; this is the great purpose of life, caring for others and giving back through gratitude.

Gratitude Advances Generosity

Generosity is a journey that changes us as we look beyond ourselves and choose to focus on the wellbeing of others and not just ourselves. Such action feels good, as we spread hope and goodness through our time, skills, reflection, and financial gifts.2 Generosity cultivates gratitude because we stand up for right and good, even when it feels complex, and the world seems dark. Experiencing empathy and acting on it fills a longing in every one of us as it connects us to the stories of others and helps us shed toxic emotions. Compassion brings a ray of hope to a hurting world and leads us to act.

Giving Feels Good

Gratitude turns us from a scarcity mindset to one of abundance and growth, moving our brains from a reactive survival mentality to a place of purpose and contentment. When we choose gratitude, we experience better mental and physical health, happiness, and life satisfaction.3 Brain research shows that generosity activates positive responses in our brain, releasing serotonin (mood-mediation), dopamine (the feel-good chemical), and oxytocin (compassion and bonding chemical), resulting in an energizing endorphin release.4

The benefits of financial giving include lower blood pressure, increased self-esteem, lower stress and depression levels, longer life, and greater happiness and satisfaction.5 The research is clear: We create a positive impact by pursuing an abundant life where we give freely to those around us. The secret to life is not about the dollar amount of a gift; it is all about how giving to others benefits them and helps us find a deeper purpose, thankfulness, and happiness.6

Today anyone can serve as a philanthropist just by deciding to give to a cause. Gone are the days when a select few sources provided for world change. Technology continues to create a bridge that allows the gratitude and giving of each individual to travel faster and more broadly than ever before. We work together to envision a better world and take steps forward to create it, five to ten dollars at a time.

GVNG: Set up your GVNG Wallet and give to 1.6 million charities, including our friends at the Gratitude Network, who offer a variety of ways to pursue a generous life.

  1. (2021). Gallup global emotions.
  2. Brown, J. & Wong, J. (2017, June 6). How gratitude changes you and your brain. Greater Good Magazine, Berkeley
  3. Allen, S. (2018, May). The science of gratitude. Greater Good, Berkeley.
  4. Cleveland Clinic. (2020, October 28). Why giving is good for your health: Studies show how giving affects your body.
  5. Cleveland Clinic. (2020, October 28). Why giving is good for your health: Studies show how giving affects your body.
  6. Harvard Health Publishing. (2021, August 14). Giving thanks can make you happier.