Why should I make a charitable gift?

Laurel Spagnolo
Laurel Spagnolo, Director of Development & Community Engagement

I learned at a young age that it was important to help others whenever possible. My family was typical middle class; we had what we needed, learned to appreciate what we had, and shared what we had when someone else needed help.

The idea of giving what I have to help others has stuck with me throughout my life. When I make a charitable gift, it represents a way for me to help make the world a better place. Through charity, we get to make an impact – locally and globally.

Donating to the causes you care about not only impacts the organization itself, but it can be deeply rewarding for you too. Millions of people give to charity on a regular basis to support causes they believe in, as well as for the positive effect it has on their own lives.

So why is charitable giving so gratifying? Here are three good reasons:


The act of charity is a major mood-booster. Knowing that you’re helping others is empowering and can make you feel happier and more fulfilled. Research has shown a link exists between making a charitable donation and increased activity in the area of the brain that registers pleasure – proving that as the old adage goes, it really is far better to give than to receive. Donors will tell you that they receive immense enjoyment from giving to help others.

Often, I speak with people that tell me they are not able to contribute much to help. My response is always the same – it’s not the size of the gift that matters, it’s the act of giving that makes a difference.

The children in my church collect change every October to support mission projects. You should see their faces light up when someone gives them a handful of coins. They are beaming with excitement and pride because they know that they are doing something good to help others.


Studies show that people acquire increased social consciousness when making a charitable gift. Whatever type of charitable work they support, almost all people say they feel a sense of obligation to help others, a sentiment very much rooted in their personal values and principles.

Collins dictionary defines social consciousness as: “…the state of being aware of the problems that affect a lot of people in society, such as being poor or having no home, and wanting to do something to help these people.” At Sadler Health Center, it is our goal to offer accessible, affordable, comprehensive, culturally competent care to meet the needs of the underserved, uninsured and immigrant community within Cumberland and Perry Counties. Charitable gifts help us to help others.

Having the power to improve the lives of others is, to many people, a privilege and brings with it a sense of responsibility. Acting on these feelings is a great way to strengthen our own personal values and feel like we’re living in a way that is true to our own ethical beliefs.


Sharing the experience of donating to charity with your children shows them from a young age that they can make positive changes in the world. Children naturally love to help others, so nurturing their innate generosity is likely to mean that they grow up with a greater appreciation of what they have, and will continue to support charity in years to come.

I remember a time when a good friend was having financial trouble. Her husband lost his job and they were struggling. My son was in maybe 5th grade at the time and we stopped at the grocery store to pick up a few items for her. I explained to my son what we were doing and as we passed a display of fall mums, he asked if he could pick out one for Sandy. He thought it would cheer her up and she would like it. It was a proud moment for me. He wanted to help.

In addition, your charitable donations can inspire your family, friends and colleagues to give to causes that mean something to them. It’s amazing what happens when groups of people gather together to solve a special problem or raise funds for a specific need. Acts of charity can be contagious to help spread the joy of giving.

In closing, one of my favorite illustrations of people helping people for a purpose is the tradition of Amish Barn Raising. A barn raising is an example of hard work combined with social activities to achieve a mission.  The barn raising fulfills a practical need and also serves to tie the Amish community together, reinforcing Amish society through a very visible expression of the principle of mutual aid. That’s the beauty of what a group can do – a problem is identified and a group joins together to solve it.

Thank you for what you do strengthen our community and improve the health of those that live here. #SadlerStrong.

Laurel Spagnolo,

Director of Development & Community Engagement
Sadler Health Center

Before joining Sadler Health Center, Spagnolo served as a senior leader with nonprofit organizations. She has 30+ years of professional fundraising and marketing experience.

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