Nearly everyone I know tends to run short on time and/or money. Some have an abundance of one and are short on the other, but very few of us feel that we truly have enough of both. And so when we make a decision about giving to a cause, it makes sense to give of whichever we feel we have in abundance… Right?
Well, once when my mom and I were talking about that very subject, she said, “I tend to give money to the causes where I give my time.”
Wait. What? This advice doesn’t seem to make sense at all. I might feel that I have some extra money at the moment, but I’m always short on time, so why would I want to give both?
Well, there actually is a lot of wisdom in the practice of giving your time and money both to a cause. When you concentrate your giving on causes you are willing to spend time on and also shell out hard earned money for, instead of giving a little here and a little there, you are doing your all for something you truly believe in.
When you choose to give of both your time and your money, you are less likely to make quick decisions because they are more costly to you. Spending the time to make an informed decision about a cause allows you to make a better choice about whether to give in the first place, and it also allows you to feel really good about saying yes or saying no. There’s no guilt in saying no to a cause that you’ve considered but decided it’s not something you feel strongly enough about to be all in.
If you give money to a cause, but don’t give your time, you don’t really see what is going on behind the scenes. Sometimes there just is no substitute for being there to see how the ethos of an organization is or is not being put into action. By being there at least occasionally, you get a sense of who and what is truly valued by the principles of the organization and can better judge if they truly align with your values. Also, even with the most transparent financial reporting, it can be helpful to get a look for yourself at how money is actually being spent.
Following that little piece of wisdom can have many good outcomes. It means that you are fully giving to a cause that is truly close to you heart.