Why Do People Give?

“Giving is not just about making a donation. It is about making a difference.”
~ Kathy Calvin, CEO & President of the United Nations Foundation.

I thought this topic fitting for my very first blog at the Community Foundation. This is a question that I reflect on quite a bit in my role as Executive Director.
I’ve been noticing that the reasons, while all very personal, fit into one of four categories.

I give because:

  • I believe in what the charity is doing
  • I get value from knowing that I am helping contribute to the social good of my chosen causes and charities
  • I want the recognition of donating to a cause – I want people to know that I am in a financial position to give
  • It’s the right thing to do – my parents instilled a strong sense of community and giving back (I hear this one often from our Fund Holders)

By giving of your time, talent and treasure to causes that are important to you, you are looking for connection, for deeper meaning outside of yourself – a stronger sense of purpose.
I’m very blessed to have met and worked with some incredibly wonderful and generous people during my time here at the SPCF. They have helped memorialize a loved one, changed someone’s life, provided much needed funding to a struggling organization, helped someone learn to read, taught a kid to swim, given students an outdoor space to learn, provided much needed training for front line workers, enabled someone to visit a senior citizen, inspired a new Canadian, built a playground, given someone the resources to leave a life of poverty – the list is endless. All to assist others – helping to connect our community and make an impact on the causes most important to them.

For each individual person who gives, the motivation is unique. Helping people discover this motivation and watching the immense look of pleasure on their faces when they know they’ve made a real difference is incredible and what we exist to do and I couldn’t ask for a more fulfilling job.

Tracy Van Kalsbeek
Executive Director
Stratford Perth Community Foundation

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