Navigating the New Normal: Saving Money is Important, but Donating in Times of Crisis is an Imperative
“Rather than being a human, be a humanitarian” – Kowtham Kumar
Are you pondering the importance of giving of your time and money to charitable organizations like NGOs and Non-Profits?
This quotation by Kowtham Kumar highlighted above, describes the raison d’etre of being human. Ergo, being human is to espouse humanitarian acts and principles.
What is a humanitarian?
By way of answering this question, let’s examine the following definition:
A humanitarian is defined as a“person actively engaged in promoting human welfare and social reforms, as a philanthropist.”
The new normal: Navigating the socioeconomic consequences of COVID-19
The world first heard of the novel coronavirus, COVID-19, in the last days of 2019. Fast forward to May 2020, and very little is known about this virus. Consequently, scientists and medical professionals are struggling to predict the virus’s behavior.
What is internationally accepted is that one of the only ways to control its rampant spread is social isolation or social distancing. Therefore, over 50% of the world’s population is currently under a stay-at-home or lockdown order. All non-essential businesses have closed, and millions of people have either lost their jobs or been furloughed. As a result, the COVID-19 is responsible for a total shutdown of the global economy, costing the world at least $7 trillion (USD).
NGOs and non-profits like yadezra.net are still continuing to feed the vulnerable, poor, and needy during these challenging times. However, it is a challenge because they are feeling the financial strain from the economic challenges of the fallout from COVID-19. Thus, they need donations even more than before the world woke up to the “new normal.”
Reasons why donating to charities is an imperative
Now that we have established that donating to NGOs, non-profit organizations, and charities is an imperative, let’s consider two of the most important benefits of supporting NGOs and charities during this crisis.
Helping people less fortunate
It is our social, moral, an ethical imperative to help people less fortunate than ourselves. It does not matter how much we give, what matters is that we give. Many religious organizations espouse the edict of giving at least 10% of all income to a charitable organization.
The website, nonprofitsource.com, notes that “giving to religion (defined as giving specifically to congregations, denominations, missionary societies, and religious media) has consistently remained America’s single largest recipient of charitable giving.”
Thus, irrespective of what our personal beliefs are because this article’s intent is not to discuss religion, let’s consider a simple case study of giving to charity during these challenging times.
If by way of example, we use the principle of giving 10% of our income to charity, then the following figures apply:
For every $10 we earn, we only need to give $0.10 to charity.
Therefore, if we only earn $40 per month ($10 per week x 4), then the maximum amount that we need to donate to charity for a particular month is $0.40.
Statistics show that, in 2017, the median US weekly salary was $857. Thus, an average American employee earned $3428 per month ($847 x 4 weeks). Therefore, 10% of $3428 is $342.80. Thus, the maximum amount suggested based on the 10% rule is $342.80.
While this sounds like a lot of money, in the bigger scheme of things it is only 10% of your salary. And, from personal experience, it is essential to make the donation as soon as you get paid; otherwise, it is easy to spend this money on something else.
Improves our mental, emotional, and physical health
The health benefits associated with generosity include increased self-esteem, improved mood, less depression, lower stress levels, lower blood pressure, and greater happiness.
Research studies conducted by the National Institutes of Health have found that giving to charitable organizations boosts the feel-good chemicals or endorphins in your brain. Endorphins are manufactured by the hypothalamus and the pituitary glands. They act as a pain reliever and a happiness booster.
As an aside, it is interesting to note that endorphins have a similar function in your body as opioids. In other words, endorphins act as natural opioids. The human body has special receptors that bind to the synthetic opioids when taken on prescription by a medical professional to manage short-term pain. And, the combination of the opioids and the body’s receptors blocks pain signals from reaching the brain.
Consequently, the more you give and help people who are less fortunate, the more endorphins your body will manufacture, the happier you will be. And, the happier you are, the healthier you are.
It’s vital to remember that, while philanthropic behavior is essential to your health and happiness, it’s equally important to manage your budget carefully, save as much as you can, and not overspend on anything. Otherwise, you will end up in financial difficulties.
The consequences of overspending are directly juxtaposed to the positive benefits of giving and managing your finances properly. And, if you overspend, you will no longer be in the position to support charitable organizations. Thus, everyone concerned, including yourself, will lose out on the overall benefits of your charitable actions.