Why Giving Makes Us Happy

why does giving make us happy

Why Giving Makes Us Happy

I wrote a post last week about how thankful I am to have the many blessings that have been afforded my family and I and also highlighted something that is important to me, modern day slavery; which in turn ultimately turned into a post about giving.

This week I want to follow up on that thought briefly and highlight a few facts from a few studies on why giving makes you happy, and why giving is better than getting.

The Studies

While there a numerous studies that show the reasons why giving makes you happier, I want to point out only a couple of them.

It can be argued that it is apparent that the research shows that when we give for the benefit of others the impact on our life is much more positive than when we receive something from someone else.

My favorite part?


The respondants reported that giving to others provided more personal satisfaction, REGARDLESS of the amount! This really means that we don’t have to be multi-BILLIONAIRES to make a difference, which is really comforting to me and maybe to you as well.

On this note, I’m often amazed at the practicality of the Bible and yet again in Acts 20:35, the indication is that giving is better than receiving which is supported by all of the studies linked to today. Fascinating.

According to this article, Winston Churchill is quoted as saying:

We make a living by what we get. We make a life by what we give.

What kind of giving?

But where should we give?  While this is most certainly a matter of personal choice (I am particularly impressed by those organizations who help others who have been victimized by human trafficking) we can find some guidance from research as to how to maximize the impact.

Interestingly enough, there is some common sense to this logic.

  • Give to a specific project or person, not an institution with a tremendous amount of overhead.  At least according to this study.
  • Smaller and much more frequent amounts tend to maintain a spirit of giving throughout the year by allowing us to fit within our financial contraints instead of larger, infrequent sums.
  • Don’t give with any strings attached.  The moment you expect something in return is the moment when you decrease the benefit you’d receive from that gift. Give freely.


What do you think?  Are you any happier when you’ve helped to support a cause you are particularly passionate about?

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2 thoughts on “Why Giving Makes Us Happy”

  1. “give freely” – not expecting a tax break or someone to do something for you in the future, as-in – “you owe me one.”
    Great reminder to give out of love. I appreciated this post. Thanks for sharing

  2. Too many people give and expect something in return, even if it is just recognition. “Give freely” is what it should be all about but in the end, as long as people are giving, someone will benefit from it and that is all that matter.

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