JoAnn Turnquist's picture

Posted by JoAnn Turnquist

What Motivates You to Give?

August 22, 2014

Giving Better, Making a Difference, Talk About Giving, Conversation Starters, Question of the Week

Puppy Wanting TreatThere are many reasons a person chooses to be philanthropic. But, it is often surprisingly difficult to pinpoint the personal motivations that drive our decision. Aristotle said “To give away money is an easy matter and in any man’s power. But to decide to whom to give it and how large and when, and for what purpose and how, is neither in every man’s power nor an easy matter.” Knowing the motivations behind our charitable efforts helps us make wise choices when deciding where to give. This knowledge can make the difference between proactive and reactive giving.

Community foundations frequently talk about finding and giving to an area you feel passionately about. However; motivation goes beyond our passions- it pinpoints what we want to accomplish with our giving. What is our reason for going out of our way to help others? Why do we care about particular issues? What is the final outcome we wish or desire to happen from our giving?  At our Foundation, we believe that the key to a rewarding charitable experience is finding the best fit between your passions, dreams, and financial resources.

Research has shown there are a wide variety of possible motivations for individuals to give: to be remembered or leave a legacy, a sincere desire to help other people, a desire to make the community a better place to live, a need to give back, or for income and estate tax benefits. Both our hearts and minds motivate our philanthropy. These motivations are all influenced by the many factors that make us individuals—our backgrounds, age, beliefs, and experiences. Our motivations will frequently change over time as we have new life experiences, making it important for us to constantly reevaluate why we give. For example, a recent study has found that the Millennial generation is more likely to give in order to make the world a better place; whereas the Boomer generation’s gifts are often directed at providing basic needs for the poor or making the community a better place for everyone to live.

What motivates you? We encourage you to evaluate your motivations. Then, use the information to create a plan for giving and fuel conversations with your family.

At Central Carolina Community Foundation, our mission is to promote, facilitate, and increase philanthropy to create a sustainable impact within our community through responsible giving.  We would be delighted to help you create your plan. For more information, visit our website at


Share with your followers!

Stories of Philanthropy