Giving is not Selfish

Strange title, right? Most people don’t equate giving with selfishness but many do. Think of the number of times someone has made a comment about so and so doing something simply to be recognized or awarded. That comment implies that the person has done something generous for a selfish motive.

This article is inspired by a post that explores the selfish aspect of giving. The premise is that “everything we do is done because it’s better than not doing it.”  And better yet, it makes us feel good (which some equate to being a selfish motive).

Just like Seth Godin, I believe that “society benefits when people selfishly choose the long view and the generous view in pursuit of this self-satisfaction.”

pinquote_giving to someone who cannot repay

I have several views on giving.


Giving matters at all levels. Young professionals will often delay becoming involved in philanthropy because they feel a certain level of income or influence is required.  Michael Chatman of #WHYiGive and — says it best, “you don’t have to be Bill Gates, Brad Pitt or Oprah to give. Everybody has something to give!”

I say, don’t wait. Jump in and start making a difference now!

TLP 2012 - Reception 6

Two wonderful supporters of Teen Living Programs at the 2013 gala.(

People can give conscientiously.

There are ways to give without forcing your will on others.

There are ways to give while respecting the individual, their history and present circumstances.

You need not suffer to give.

Money is not the only way to give. Your treasure of talent, time and knowledge is valuable as well.

diverse group of volunteers

I believe we have created a conflict around giving. I’ve spoken to some who believe giving to charity is equivalent to bragging. So they give in secret or don’t give at all. How ludicrous is that!

GIVING IS NOT BOASTFUL. People are. There are ways to separate the two.

Many people save to give. Forgo a few Starbucks each month and you’d be surprised how much you have to donate by the end of the year. Skip a few $100 Saturday-night outs and you’ll be a donor in no time.


Giving is all about priorities and perspective.


TLP Gala 2013 - love them volunteers #4

The amazing Teen Living Programs 2013 gala volunteers from Booz Allen Hamilton’s Chicago office.

I’m just glad that our society rewards acts of charity (whether they are considered selfish or not). I celebrate acts of generosity that make not only the giver but receiver feel better about who they are and the potential for the future.

I give to create hope, happiness, dreams and opportunities for those who have the desire but need resources and access.


Sherry iconJoin me in supporting an organization that is dear to my heart, Teen Living Programs. We provide housing and supportive services to displaced teens in the Chicago area.  Our annual fundraiser is Saturday, March 22nd. Please consider attending the event and/or purchasing a raffle ticket.  More information can be found on the event page, or you can contact me directly at

Thanks for sharing and liking my work. Be sure to subscribe to my blog via WordPress or email to get my updates.  You can also connect with me on twitter @sherry563Linkedin and Facebook.


Categories: Charity

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