If you woke up today in a warm bed, covered by soft blankets, and had the luxury to place your head on a comfortable pillow, then you are blessed. Many individuals who are experiencing homelessness during this season do not have the luxury of waking up in a home environment like yours. During this season of giving and reflection, should we use our blessings to bless others?
It is not how much we give but how much love we put into giving. – Mother Teresa
Would you like to reap the benefits of giving? Research suggests there are benefits from donating to charities or volunteering your time, such as a homeless shelter or a homeless outreach event.
According to Harvard Business School Professor Michael Norton and two colleagues from the University of British Colombia, money cannot buy love, but it can buy happiness—as long as it is spent prosocially on others. Michael Norton, Elizabeth Dunn, and Lara Aknin’s article, “Spending Money on Others Promotes Happiness,” appeared in the March 2008 issue of Science. They explored ways on how to uncover the influences in which money may lead to happiness. They conducted a number of studies from national surveys to a field study. In this field study, they examined the spending behavior of employees at a Boston-based company; specifically on how these employees spent a profit-sharing bonus and how it impacted their long-term happiness. Let’s discover how they examined their predictions.
Their cross-sectional survey research led to show that money can buy happiness, when people spend money prosocially on others (e.g., donating to charities, giving to friends or non-profits, etc.) rather than on themselves (e.g., buying flat-screen televisions or smart phones). They surveyed a national sample of 632 Americans to rate their general happiness, report their annual income, and estimate how much money they spent in a typical month on bills, gifts for themselves, gifts for others, and donations to charity. They used a regression analysis (predictive method) that investigates the relationship between independent/explanatory (e.g., personal spending, prosocial spending, and income) and dependent/outcome (e.g., general happiness) variables.
In this initial investigation, entering the personal and prosocial spending indices simultaneously into a regression predicting general happiness revealed that personal spending was unrelated to happiness, but higher prosocial spending was associated with significantly greater happiness (Dunn, Aknin, & Norton, 2008). One of the benefits of giving is feeling greater happiness. To validate this interpretation, Professor Michael Norton and colleagues examined the happiness of 16 employees at a Boston-based company before and after they received a profit-sharing bonus ($4918.64 average amount) from their company. Next, in the same predictive method, they examined the relationship between the national sample variables and the Boston study field variables. What did this powerful statistical method revealed? It revealed that prosocial spending was the only significant explanatory variable of happiness. The way in which the Boston employees decided to spent their bonus was a more important predictor of their happiness than the bonus amount.
Professor Michael Norton and colleagues did not stop there. They searched for further evidence by examining the happiness of 46 participants. This experiment included a pre-test and a post-test on participant happiness. This means participants rated their happiness in the morning and after 5 p.m. the same day. Additionally, the participants were given $5 or $20 to spend by 5 p.m. the same day. In this experiment, participants were randomly assigned to the personal spending condition or the prosocial spending condition. This analysis revealed that very minor alterations in spending allocations—as little as $5—may be sufficient to produce significant gains in happiness on a given day (Dunn, Aknin, & Norton, 2008).
Why is this valuable or important for us to know? It’s easy to overlook the benefits of giving or investing in prosocial spending. Nevertheless, this is an opportunity to understand that encouraging others to give can positively increase happiness—in which may lead to a contagious spur of a ripple effect of generosity through our community. This time of giving can uniquely be transformed into a season of happiness. Why not!?!? Join B.A.R.E. Truth, Inc. in this movement of happiness!
B.A.R.E. Truth, Inc. appreciates all the volunteers and donors that generously invest with either their time or money to positively impact our clients. Let’s take a look at what happiness looks like when giving to others prosocially.
Students from UCLA, USC, El Camino and Southwest join B.A.R.E. Truth, Inc. last month to help and assist in our homeless outreach.
B.A.R.E. Truth, Inc. Team Spreading the Joy of Giving
Joseph Bradford III on a mission to Coach and Inspire our Youth during the Gentlemen’s League course
Remember that the happiest people are not those getting more, but those giving more. – H. Jackson Brown, Jr.
UPCOMING CALENDAR EVENTS – VOLUNTEERS NEEDED
October 12, 2019- Homeless / Skid Row Outreach. We will feed, provide water and pass out hygiene bags.
- Time: 9: 00 a.m. at the ‘B House’ to prepare food, then heading out to Skid Row at 11 a.m.
- Location: 6th and Wall St. (Skid Row); email B.A.R.E. Truth, Inc. for more information.
- Items we need: turkey meat, cheese, socks, water, backpacks, hygiene products, blankets, nail clippers, hand towels, tents, adult clothes and adult shoes.
B.A.R.E. Truth, Inc. host events monthly and your support either in a monetary form or other donations is greatly appreciated. Please connect with us!! Can we count on you with a monthly monetary donation of $5, $10, $20, or more? Please note, ALL contributions help the clients we serve! JOIN US AND MAKE A DIFFERENCE! Please Sign Up or Donate, link available below.
For those who would like to volunteer, but you are not able to, then donating is an option too!
DONATE AND CLICK HERE (EASY & SECURE):
- ALL YOUR DONATIONS ARE 100% TAX DEDUCTIBLE.
REASONS TO VOLUNTEER
- Be part of the solution – key to a life of happiness.
- Level up your passionate interest and skills – what are you passionate about?
- Pay-it-forward – practice gratefulness!
- Empower people to be their best selves – help others succeed!
- Create more positive experiences by – contributing time or money.
Dunn, E. W., Aknin, L. B., & Norton M. I. (2008). Spending money on others promotes happiness. Science, 319(5870), 1687-1688. https://doi.org/10.1126/science.1150952
By Maria I. Castro, MPA
B.A.R.E. Truth Inc.
Los Angeles, CA
© 2019 B.A.R.E. TRUTH, INC. – Making copies or using of any part of the B.A.R.E. TRUTH News Blog or website for any purpose other than your own personal use is prohibited unless written authorization is first obtained from B.A.R.E. TRUTH, INC.