When Generous People Give More Than Money

How do you define generosity?

Saturday evening, I attended a fundraiser to support a local animal shelter, Mutts Matter Rescue.

Sunday morning, after a steaming cuppa’ Joe, I sat down to catch up on various periodicals in preparation for the business week. An article in the online Inc. Magazine caught my eye titled “How Truly Generous People Give More Than Money”, written by Kevin Daum.

And I thought, “Yes! How perfect”.

I’ve talked before about my personal and professional commitment to supporting the community in various ways; how we filled two truck loads of goods and delivered them to hurricane devastated communities and our support of the vast army of volunteers and professionals making a difference in keeping our children healthy, and Kevin’s words struck a chord; a perfectly timed chord.

Giving money is easy. For some, it’s easier than others, to be sure. But the act of writing a check is far removed the hands-on dirty work that makes these types of organizations actually work. Sometimes, when I’m inspired by the cause, I’ll extend an invitation to customers, clients and friends to join me at an event. Mostly, they don’t. It’s as though the act of attending a charity event obligates my guest to give more down the road. And honestly, I’ve almost never seen money refused.

But the truth is, unlike the corporate or governmental world, many not-for-profit organizations lack a depth of knowledge and experience, a deep pool of volunteers and resources to change these deficiencies quickly. As leaders in your organizations, and perhaps, in your industry, you can be more valuable than your money.

How we communicate our values and what our actions are in support of those values are closely watched by our staff. Our willingness to provide our strengths, whatever they may be, is a true commitment to values. As leaders, the example we set no longer stops at the front door. As we shape our employees and our organizations, we must remember that the thin veil between public and private is disappearing, requiring us all to step up and participate fully.

We can do well by doing good. Be generous by giving more than money; it allows us to give what we are best at.

What are you best at?

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