Monday, September 27, 2010

Happy People Give More to Charity

A study by the UK-based Charities Aid Foundation, bucks the notion that only the wealthy give money to charities.  Apparently, it's not wealth but happiness that is the greatest influence on an individual's choice to give to charity.  This is a good thing.  If charities relied solely on the small proportion of people with gobs of money to throw around, well, they'd be waiting awhile. And a lack of economic diversity in funders would likely affect diversity in terms of mission, too.

But wait, aren't wealthy people naturally happier?  I mean, I'd probably be a little less stressed if I didn't have to worry about how I'll send three boys to college (well, actually, me and dear husband are first wondering how we'll feed three teenagers.  Hierarchy of needs and all that.) And a brand-new suped-up minivan would definitely make me happy.   But another recent study, this one out of Princeton, found that wealth is not a predictor of happiness.  

So, ten years from now when my family is happily subsisting on a diet of rice and beans bought in wholesale quantities, we'll probably still be giving to charity.

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