Every year, hundreds of thousands of people donate their time and/or money to non-profit organizations. Why do they do it?

More importantly, why should you?

Here are five reasons to donate to charity:

1. To help others.

First and foremost, when you contribute to a cause you are making the world a better place. Whether you are donating your time, money or expertise, there are recipient(s) benefiting from it. People may go to school because of the scholarship you fund, children may feel supported by the shelter or food they receive, animals may be saved because of the organization you donate too, and society’s carbon footprint may decrease as a result of your research and efforts. Ultimately, giving back shows kindness and those around you see that. 

While sometimes there are questions about where money goes in the public sector, the fact is, everyone in it is trying to do something bigger than what one of us could do alone. The fact is this: when you donate to charity you are doing good in the world.

2. You feel good.

What does bettering the world lead to? Feeling good! The act of helping others, donating to charity, or volunteering your time, will give you an improved sense of wellbeing. The knowledge that you’ve sacrificed time and/or money in order to help others in need or create positive change in the world is a beautiful thing. Receiving notice of the good your money has done in a certain community, or a letter from your foster child, can truly warm your heart. Giving to charity can give you a sense of purpose in life, along with self worth and inner satisfaction.

3. You become informed.

When you are considering making a charitable donation, you will most likely want to research what cause you’d like to support, the organizations that can best achieve this, and the structure and mission of those organizations. As a result of this research, you become more educated about social injustices around the world. Furthermore, you’ll be exposed to new perspectives and opinions on topics about which you were previously uninformed. This is important for a lot of reasons, such as gaining a greater understanding of the world and your own community. Exposure to various topics can also fuel your sense of purpose in life and contribute to solutions and a greater world.

4. You fuel your passion.

When you donate your time and money to a cause that is near and dear to your heart, you are giving yourself the opportunity to fuel your passion and spend time doing things you love. Do you love animals? By volunteering with an animal shelter you will feel needed, purposeful, and energized. Do you believe education is the best gift you can give? By sending money for girls to go to school, you are listening to your heart and, ultimately, fueling your passion.

5. You can reap social, physical, mental, and spiritual benefits.

By giving your time to a charity, you get the opportunity to build your social circles by working with like-minded people. You may also be able to do something physical, giving you the opportunity to become healthier and happier. And the mental and spiritual benefits from knowing your contributing to your favorite cause are through the roof! 

And there’s a bonus – donating is tax deductible!

Did you know when you donate to a charity the amount you give is tax deductible? Not just the money you give, but also any money spent on travel, parking, convention or event fees that are associated with the charity (as long as you are not being reimbursed by the non-profit organization for these expenses)!

Ultimately, giving back feels good and is good for you.