Give to Your Heart
ONE step that will go a long ways towards opening up the power of your heart while building up your self-esteem is learning how to give away money.
You see money is very much tied in with our sense of power and control over our lives. Money is very much tied in with our sense of self-esteem. The amount we make, what we buy, how we can spend our time with our money is tied in with our identity. While we can all "talk" about money not being important for happiness, when it comes to giving away money thoughts of resistance immediately arrise. A thought may say "this is your money." "That's too much money to give." "What did they do to deserve this money?" "Your earned this money and you deserve it" "You don't have to give it to anyone."
Sure maybe you can think about giving away $5, $10, $20 at a time to a charitable cause. What about $100? What about $10000? Now your mind is probably raising red flags. Sounds a little nuts. "Is someone going to try and con me out of some money?" What about giving away $10,000? Now we're starting to push some buttons.
I talk about giving away money, because ironically, the courage to give away money can initiate your ability to gain more money. How can this be? This is because at the basis of money is your measure of self value. The more money you have the more valuable you tend to feel. You start to look more important. People will start to treat you more importantly. You will look like you deserve to receive more money and you will get it more easily.
When you are more stingy with your money, you will feel like every dollar you give away is giving away a part of what makes you valuable. Your fear is that without money you will be a nobody, a bum on the streets. The tighter you hold on to your money, the more you are saying that you're not worth it. And so when you interact with other people you will undermine your outward appearance. There may be many people willing to help you in your endeavors, but you will to be too scared to ask, because it might seem to be too forward, too much to ask, too awkward. When you get any rejection, you will take it very personally, become bitter, and be more fearful of asking for help. When you want to ask for help, you will automatically say no to yourself before asking. You will actually repell money.
So I encourage you to consider donating more money to a charitable cause. But not just any token charitable cause. I encourage you to research and compare charitable causes. See which one touches your heart more. Make sure they are legimate charities. Make sure that they are efficient charities.
One important thing is when you decide to give, IT'S SO IMPORTANT THAT YOU GIVE FROM YOUR HEART. Please don't give out of feeling guilty. Don't give so that you get brownie points from God. Give because you are good enough to give. Give because you love yourself enought to allow yourself to take the risk of giving away some money. So if you start feeling a little voice saying that's too much, or I can't afford it right now, then I'd say back off a little and give a smaller amount. Start small and then consider giving more. Always challenge yourself to give beyond your comfort zone. More and more try and read and understand how your giving is benefitting others. The more you understand your recipients, the more you get your heart involved, and then the easier it is to GIVE FROM THE HEART. The more feel like you're giving to real individuals rather than some impersonal organization the better.
PLEASE NOTE THAT THE BELOW info is a list of some charities that I had compiled around the year 2000. I apologize that this data is now many years out date now. FORTUNATELY, there is at least one website that does a job way way better than I could ever do. If you are considering donating to a charity please visit http://www.charitynavigator.org. If it's not listed in the Charity Navigator website you may want to reconsider giving. If it is listed you may want to see if there are more efficient charities. For example for the recent Haiti relief efforts you will often get pointed to donate to the American Red Cross. The American Red Cross is certainly reputable and legitimate, but it turns out they are not the most efficient.
Below the efficiency tells you how much of your money goes to actual program causes. If for example you see an efficiency of 60% then for every dollar you give, only 60 cents makes it to help the charitable cause with the remaining amount being used for management and marketing costs. I encourage you to take a closer look at them and consider giving to the ones that are more efficient, and just be cautious about the ones highlighted in red. Also BEWARE that there are some questionable charities that use names that sound similar to other more reputable charities, just to fool you. Pay attention to the spelling of the names.
Above list was updated: 10/7/01
When you start giving, do be prepared to end up on mailing lists of other charities and expect to get much mail asking for more money. When you start getting more "junk mail" in the form of requests for more money, look at these solicitations to find out about more charities that might appeal to you more. Also do ask for a financial statement that shows it's income and expenditures. The best thing is to get a copy of IRS form 990 or some statement prepared by an accountant, because then they can't hide anything.
Note: In above list efficiency are very close to the percentage of revenue that is reportedly applied to program services. However, these figures are modified to take out investment or interest income as a source of revenue that is to be counted. Why? Because in some cases you see charities that in one year seem to "hord" a huge amount of cash and put it away into investments. The only justified reason for saving away larges amounts of money instead of spending it on program services is to increase the efficiency and effectiveness of the organization in the future. This means that in the future we should see some of this money coming back to increase support services. As this money comes back, the principal, capital gains and interest should already be considered as counted the day it was donated. To count interest or investment income would be penalizing a charitable organization for trying to save for the future with the intent of expanding its program services.