Donating regularly not only does good, but it helps you and your business grow. It is one of the most powerful techniques to release the baggage that most of us have about money.
Many years ago, I read and resonated with Catherine Ponder’s recommendation in The Dynamic Laws of Prosperity to donate regularly. In it she referred to the Old Testament code in which farmers were to leave corners of their fields unharvested for the poor. Inspired, and starting in my 20’s, I have continued to donate monthly for forty years. I believe this habit played a critical role in my later success.
3 ways donating monthly leads to growth
1. Regular donation helps dissolve our attachment and aversion to money
Perhaps, the most important and most subtle reason for donating is that regular donation helps us let go of the fear surrounding money. Most of us associate money with survival, our most fundamental instinct. No money means no food or shelter. No money in business means failure.
By donating monthly to a cause we believe in, we are telling the universe, “I trust you,” and we are telling ourselves, “I trust myself to always have enough money to survive and thrive, even though I regularly give some away.”
In addition to letting go of our attachment, our fearful wanting to hold on to money, donating diminishes our aversion to money. Many of us think of money as dirty (physically and intellectually) and associate it with greed. Donation transforms those negative thoughts about money, which has the effect of repelling money, into something positive.
When we let go of our attachments and aversions to money, we create space for it to flow to us by simple intention.
2. Doing good comes back to you. (The law of karma)
Just as we naturally want to give back to people who unconditionally give to us, the universe naturally wants to give back multi-fold when we are generous. “As you sow, so shall you reap”.
3. Giving creates positivity among stakeholders
We create greater trust and good feeling among employees, customers, the community, and shareholders if they feel our generous spirit. Whether they explicitly know or just sense it, our generosity shines through. Our stakeholders already benefit from what we have to give — that’s why they are stakeholders. If they see us as generous and not greedy, it will encourage their contribution to our success.
1. Give monthly
I decide at the beginning of each year what my monthly donations will be. Then, no matter what, like any other bill, I make the monthly payment.
As with other bills, I pay donations on time. Even if money is tight, I pay. Perhaps, a half a dozen times over the 26 years running my company, cash flow was such that I couldn’t donate. As with other bills, I caught up as soon as I could. If necessary, I adjusted down the monthly donation at the start of the next year.
2. What to give to
Catherine Ponder writes that giving to a spiritual cause has the greatest benefit. I believe that is so because the benefits of the giving to something spiritual are less obvious, and so it further loosens our attachment to the money. My wife and I give most of our donation to TM related organizations. We also give to the Salvation Army, which I found as a social worker to be the most effective at helping the truly needy at short notice. We also give to Catholic charities as my wife is an active Roman Catholic, and we help a local animal shelter.
(In a future blog I may go into detail about the benefits of announcing where donations go rather than keeping them anonymous. Basically, it is because going public inspires others to give.)
3. Giving from a pure heart is what produces the benefits
If you donate monthly to receive the benefits discussed in this article and not out of genuine desire to give, the results will be quite limited. The benefits written about here describe the effects from sincere giving, not a prescription to donate to receive benefits.
4. Give, even if it is only $5 a month
It is a mistake to think, “the money I donate won’t matter. I’ll wait until I can afford to give more.” Actually, the time to begin donating and start loosening the attachment to money is when you have very little and even a few dollars a month feels like a stretch.
Do these ideas make sense to you?
Would you be willing to commit to give some amount the first of every month for the rest of the year?