'Women Give 2017' study finds charitable giving increases life satisfaction

The Women’s Philanthropy Institute (WPI), which studies the effects of gender on charitable giving and volunteering, has recently released a report exploring the link between life satisfaction and charitable giving.

Researches say the aim of the survey, Women Give 2017, was to address two central questions: 1) Does the “joy of giving” affect all individuals and households equally?, and 2) Does the impact of giving on overall happiness vary by gender?

The researchers discovered that giving does indeed increase life satisfaction and giving makes everyone happier, regardless of gender or marital status.

The study showed that:

1-Giving makes us happy. The study found that giving to charitable organizations is positively related to life satisfaction. The more a household gives as a percentage of income, the higher the household’s life satisfaction.

2-Giving makes us all happy. Across marital status (single women, single men, and married couples), giving to charitable organizations is positively related to a household’s life satisfaction.

3-Single men see the greatest increase in life satisfaction when they become donors. For single and married women, life satisfaction increases most when they increase their giving.

4-For households where either the wife makes charitable decisions or spouses make charitable decisions jointly, life satisfaction increases with the percentage of household income given to charity.

5-For households where charitable decisions are driven by women and more than two percent of their incomes are given to charity, households making less than $100,000 per year experience more of a boost in life satisfaction from giving than those making $100,000 or more.

Debra J. Mesch, director of the Women’s Philanthropy Institute, said: “These results provide new insights that help us better understand the ‘joy of giving,’ and how men and women experience and contribute to it differently. This research is heartening. We know that people experience greater life satisfaction when they have better health, lower stress levels, and so forth. We now know that giving also adds to life satisfaction, not just for individuals but for their entire families.”

For the full report, click here.