Cindy Laquidara is a lawyer based in Jacksonville, Florida. She is Board Certified by the Florida Bar in City, County & Local Government Law.

A Reason To Give

money-652560_960_720The volume of overall charitable giving continues to increase in the United States. Last year, Americans gave more money to nonprofits and charities than in previous years, and growing interest in corporate giving, in which businesses either encourage employee donations or lead the way, is on the rise. In fact, many experts consider it to be one of the major trends in the world of philanthropy. Still, many have begun to realize that mere giving alone falls short, and that money without purpose is wasteful and less advantageous than the idea behind giving back in the first place.

While skepticism about the self-serving nature of philanthropy exists in some areas, there is undoubtedly an altruistic approach to the practice for many who choose to be involved. Look no further than the evolving desire amongst donors to contribute directly to causes rather than mere large organizations. Increasingly, charitable individuals and groups are researching and deciding with which causes they want to be involved. In doing so, individuals find that there is an opportunity to really affect change and make a tangible impact in the lives of those about which they care most. Thus, the focus of doing good is about making the world better, not giving away money.

Likewise, volunteerism is taking center stage. For most of these individuals, change is about being completely involved in the work. Whether it is feeding the homeless, organizing programs, or even bringing awareness to issues among equally influential associates, the goal is to maximize the value of giving in a way that transforms cause for the better. Furthermore, there are individuals who begin with volunteerism. Using their time behind the scenes of the organization to see the work they do, their values and their own dedication the audiences which they service, before deciding to be involved monetarily.

Overall, people are beginning to understand the value of their dollars and the change that can happen when they are handled properly. There are a spate of issues around the world, all of which are important. Yet, by focusing on the ones with which we’ve had direct experience (like family members or friends affected by breast cancer), or that move us in a certain way (education for girls, or clean water for children), we can begin double down on those areas, improve conditions or bring advancements to research, and begin to do the same in others.

Basically, giving with a purpose reifies the human facet of humanitarian work. That is not to say that donating a dollar upon checkout at the grocery store is invalid or even careless, rather it is to suggest that putting some thought, some goals, and even some sweat behind charity is the better way to make an impact, in the purest sense of the word. When that is the understood, even $1 of giving means the world, because it is likely that you will not stop there, but tell a friend about the cause over dinner, or share with your social media network with passion and influence. We are all one empathetic and purposeful move away from changing the world. Find your reason for doing so today.

Follow Cindy Laquidara on Twitter and About.me