When people think of philanthropy, they often think of wealthy benefactors, patrons or donors. In truth, however, even people of the most modest means can participate in philanthropy. In a broader sense, philanthropy is simply defined as a love for humankind. It is the compilation of the two Greek words “Philos,” which means to love and “Anthropos,” which means humankind. Philanthropy has several positive benefits both to the individual and society as a whole. Here are three benefits to philanthropy.

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The United States is far and away from the most generous country in terms of financial giving, although there are other countries that outpace the US when other philanthropic acts like volunteering are considered. Conversely, however, it just might be that the US is the most generous financially because we are one of the wealthiest nations on earth. It turns out. However, that generosity might be the reason the US is so wealthy. Research shows that rather than more wealth leading to more giving, more giving leads to more wealth.

Good for the economy
One of the aims, goals or outcomes of philanthropy is to build up foreign economies. Building up foreign economies is not just good for foreigners; it is good for business in the US. Strong foreign economies create more export opportunities for US businesses. The more export opportunities the US has the more jobs that are created for US citizens. The more employed citizens the US has, the better it is for the economy.

Good for your health
Giving has been shown to have a vast array of positive benefits to both your emotional and physical health. Giving also triggers the reward center in your brain, creating something that has been labeled a “helper’s high” by the medical community. Giving can help lower your blood pressure and prevent heart disease. People who volunteer report feeling a much greater sense of social connection, and it can help minimize or even eradicate depression and other mental health issues. Giving of either time or money is equally beneficial, and the good feelings that it engenders minimizes stress and lowers the chemicals in your body that create inflammation which leads to disease.