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Is It Really More Blessed to Give Than to Receive?

'Tis the season to buy gifts and give gifts, and usually this is an exchange. But what about giving without receiving?

In 2014 in the U.S., more than $456 billion was given to charitable organizations, and nearly $40 billion of that was given in December. What do our faith traditions say about giving? Why do we give? If tax exemptions were removed for charitable giving, would you still give? What are the benefits of giving without expecting a gift in return? Where does generosity come from and how can we express it in ways that are not self-serving?


Featured Panelists

Just Be Good for Goodness' Sake: Humanism and Charitable Giving

Just Be Good for Goodness' Sake: Humanism and Charitable Giving

Maggie Ardiente

Humanists give because we know a higher power won't save us; we have to save each other. It's about being good because it's the right thing to do.

Giving Because of the Character of God

Giving Because of the Character of God

Michael E. Brooks

For the follower of Christ, the benefits of giving, free of the motivation of receiving something in return, is a way we imitate and express our love of God.

Hindus and Charity

Hindus and Charity

Ambaa Choate

The philosophies within Hinduism make it a natural fit for charity work and selfless giving. Here are some of the many ways and reasons that Hindus give to others.

Combat Materialism with Generosity

Combat Materialism with Generosity

Michael Dello-Iacovo

One way to challenge the prevailing consumerism of our day is by cultivating a spirit of generosity and creative giving.

Daanam (and Seva) in December and Around the Year

Daanam (and Seva) in December and Around the Year

Padma Kuppa

A Hindu's spiritual journey begins with disciplining the desire for material possessions and dedicating the self to service and generosity.

From Charity to Advocacy and Deep Solidarity

From Charity to Advocacy and Deep Solidarity

Joerg Rieger

Deep solidarity puts us in a mutual relationship with those we intend to support, helping us realize how much we share in common.

Between Justice and Charity

Between Justice and Charity

Allison Walter

I convinced myself that it was sufficient to dedicate my life to working toward justice, therefore giving to charity was unnecessary, but I'm beginning to question that formula.

Raising Generous Kids

Raising Generous Kids

Kristen Welch

This is the birthplace of true generosity: when it costs us something to give to those who can't return it and we give it anyway.

From 20 Cents to $2200: Adventures in Tithing

From 20 Cents to $2200: Adventures in Tithing

Jennifer Woodruff Tait

When I was a kid, I had to put a dime out of my allowance in the offering plate every week. Here's the surprising lesson that taught me.

Commentary From Our Blogging Community

When the Poor Become Generous

When the Poor Become Generous

Acton Institute

By Chris Horst It is more blessed to give than to receive. How many times will you hear these wise words this holiday season? This is my favorite time of year primarily because of this season’s emphasis on giving. The charitable and gift-giving yearnings among us all are stoked and encouraged more in December than [Read More...]

Why We Donate: Two 24-Year-Olds on Meaningful Support

Why We Donate: Two 24-Year-Olds on Meaningful Support

Image

Today, Image Director of Programs Tyler McCabe and Marketing Associate Aubrey Allison share their perspectives on the future of art, fostering a culture of empathy, and the role of religion in a thriving inner life. Ruth Weisberg. Sisters and Brothers (detail): Wellspring. Citizens of the Future By Tyler McCabe When I was seventeen I took [Read More...]