Two Sides of Giving by Gioia Perugini

I’ve given a lot of thought as Thanksgiving approaches about the two sides of giving. The world of philanthropy focuses so much on the giving end of the equation, but much less is written about the gift of receiving. In being generous, the giver herself receives a level of satisfaction that is less often discussed and celebrated. There are occasions where generosity can feel transactional, because you feel you should, or out of habit. But giving from pure joy can be the most fulfilling act of philanthropy. Often, giving involves a financial exchange, which can help support issues and programs about which a donor feels passionately. It can be an anonymous or “out of the blue” gift, given with generosity and no expectation of recognition or return from the recipient. Especially at this time of year, though, giving can be more than financial – it can include your time and effort. It’s assembling a food basket for Thanksgiving, donating warm winter clothes for those in need, opening your home at the holidays for someone who is alone, or offering a simple act of kindness to someone who needs it. As we hit the roads and rails and airways to see family and friends for Thanksgiving, here’s to a season of generosity, where those who give can also be filled through their engagement.

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