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Altruistic Giving is Smart Giving


First, the good news: As you can see in the ad on this page, we have surpassed our goal in the Global Community Campaign. Thank you so much for your support. 

I thought about your gifts to Spectrum when I recently saw a new book by Curt Weedan: Smart Giving is Good Business — how corporate philanthropy can benefit your corporation and society. That may be true but how about giving altruistically, without any need for personal benefit? Fortunately, lots of people are doing it. Social entrepreneurship is a concept that has taken hold in our day. I bet many readers of this blog give unselfishly for worthy causes such as food, education, health, shelter, comfort, environment, sustainability. Many also give for less tangible things — things like knowledge, inspiration, spirituality.

Well, not only is giving good for corporations, there is a personal benefit to giving.

According to Arthur Brooks, “Charitable giving improves what psychologists call “self-efficacy,” one’s belief that one is capable of handling a situation and bringing about a desired outcome. When people give their time or money to a cause they believe in, they become problem solvers. Problem solvers are happier than bystanders and victims of circumstance.”

Brooks shared the studies confirming that statement in a recent report in the New York Times.

He closed by saying, “Nonprofit leaders serve others, and help build causes. But just as important, by providing opportunities to give, they empower us to breathe more meaning into our lives.”

I know that the Adventist Forum Board, on which I serve, hopes that this latest campaign by Spectrum allows for us to breathe more meaning into our lives. 

It will also help Spectrum do some important things. I’ve been associated with Spectrum in one way or another since its founding more than forty years ago. I’ve observed that the website — which serves so many with the latest news and views — has developed to the place where the journal was when we hired a full time editor. The Adventist Forum Board thinks it is time to hire a full time webmaster. That is going to be one of the results of our successful campaign.  Campaign monies were also used to send this reporter to Cape Town for the “Alternative Sexualities” conference, and another observer to Friedensau in Germany for the “First World War and Adventism” conference.  Increased reporting in the coming year will be a benefit from this campaign.

If you have been one of the hundreds of donors to our Global Community Campaign, Thank You! You are obviously one of this community’s movers and shakers. Thank you to our donor who provided a match for gifts of $1,000 that helped us to reach and surpass our goal before the end of June.  

However, the month is not over. If you have not yet given, there is still time to be part of the campaign. And, there are many other ideas out there that would be a huge help: stocks, airline and hotel points (help us cover travel expenses), life-insurance beneficiary, estate planning, etc. A one-time gift of any size right now will be gratefully received. Even better would be a willingness on your part to commit to a recurring gift. Whether it is $10 a month or a $250 a month, these recurring gifts are easy and efficient to make and really do allow us to plan ahead, knowing what to count on and thus how to budget. Spectrum is developing a recurring giving club, maybe something like “the Prism Club.” When light goes through a prism, it results in a spectrum of light. Right? So those who provide recurring support are providing dependable light through the Prism, resulting in Spectrum’s rays of light! Maybe that suggestion can get your creative brain working. Please send in your suggestion for this club composed of those who have signed up to provide recurring gifts. And even better, send in your own donation before June 30, hopefully the first of a recurring gift (which, of course, can be arranged to come automatically if you wish).

Thanks again for your timely support. You have brought increased meaning to our community life.

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