What Would You Do with $100 FREE Money?

About the Author: Dan Knight is an entrepreneur, database consultant, teacher & writer who loves to encourage others to make positive change in their lives. His blog provides insight and encouragement of personal change that will inspire you to discern and engage in positive transformation for your own life’s journey. Dan lives in Calgary, Alberta, Canada with his wife Diane. You can follow him on FacebookTwitter and his blog  Sign-up today to receive a FREE copy of his soon-to-be-released fiction ebook: “Rachel’s Tears: A Different Kind of Christmas Story

Today I’m speaking to a group on a subject that strikes fear into the hearts and ears of many: Giving.

Should we give? Why? How much?

Giving is perhaps one of the most reviled topics for conversation. Second only perhaps to taxes, which is a form of giving.

What would you do with $100 FREE money?

Jessica Jackley gave a wonderful talk at the TED Global Conference in 2010, entitled; “Poverty, Money and Love

Jessica highlights what I think is the essential foundation to Giving: Relationship

Or as she puts it: Love.

The need to view Giving as personal engagement, not a commodity; as an embodiment of community and not “disembody those in need”.

Giving changes us. It forces us to take stock of our lot in life. What have we achieved and acquired by that achievement? What blessings do we have?

Then giving  takes us outside of our immediate private world into the world of others: their needs, their situation. It changes us and opens opportunity for us to change the world of others

Along this journey of inner reflection and outer observation, Giving asks us this simple question:

What will you do to Change the World of those in need?

I highlighted three key components to Giving:

Relationship over Regulation:

Giving needs to be personal, both in its distribution of resources and in its decision to distribute. It’s an individual’s choice what they do with their resources.

Giving that is regulated or coerced is simply a form of taxation; it robs both the giver and receiver of their humanity and community.

Motive over Money:

When we give to get, we turn the process into a transaction, turning caring into a commodity to be bought and sold. It matters more WHY you give than WHAT you give.

The Billionaire who gives $100 million so he can get his name on a building, along with the perceived “respect” of his community, and most important, a tax receipt for prudent tax planning, does so out of selfish reasons. As Jessica put it: “buys the right to get on with his day.” The true worth of his funds pales compared to the student who shares his last $10 taking a street person for coffee so they can warm up inside away from the elements.

Why we give – whether to alleviate another’s need or to satisfy our own need – should be more a concern for us than what we give.

Percentage over Price:

In 2011, charitable giving by Canadians declined by 20% from 10.6 Billion in 2010 to 8.7 Billion in 2011, which was donated by only 22% of the population who gave an average of 1/2 of 1% of their income. Religious donors – those donating to religious charities – are 4 times as generous as non-religious, donating an average of 2% of their income.

Americans, as a whole aren’t much better, only 26% are donors. But those donors gave 3 times as much on average.

Billionaire philanthropists provide vast help with their vast sums; there’s a need and place for these high-end givers. But as President Obama’s election campaign illustrated there is more power in many small dollar donors than in few high-end givers.

The true measure of giving is seen in the percentage over the price. The student who gives 10% of his meagre income has given more than the billionaire giving only 1%.

It’s not how much ($) you give, it’s how much (%) it costs you.

The true measure of giving is seen in the percentage over the price.

I also gave out a homework assignment: I took $100, $50 & $20 bills and wrapped each in a piece of paper with the assignment.

1) Receive the gift (we cannot give what we’ve not first received).

2) Decide what to do with the gift (keep it, share some of it, give it all away). Giving needs to be personal.

3) Rejoice both in the gift and what you choose to do with it. Enjoy!

4) Share your story.

Write a comment below. What would you do with FREE money?

What will you do to Change the World of those in need?