Why It’s Super Important to Pay It Forward

1172629_10201322155808323_730112676_o (2)Do you ever have experiences where something wonderful comes your way and you have no idea where it came from? It was something out of the blue. The person ahead of you at Starbucks pays for your coffee. You receive a surprise order from a valuable customer. Your spouse sends you flowers “just because.” The gifts mean you were the recipient of someone else giving back.

Change this one thing about yourself this year, give back, and you will have a great year. Giving back is a term you hear often and depending on your situation (time, money, and resources) some things are easier to give than others.  However, everyone can give back.  This article shares quick tips on ways to give back and benefits to you.

Ways to Give Back

  • Volunteer for a nonprofit organization. Pick your favorite type of organization and dedicate time to showing up. Decide if you want to commit your time to a big organization or a small organization. The may be very different. Determine who you want to serve. Choose from organizations who serve children, women, elderly, men, healthcare, underprivileged, animals, therapy, special needs and everything under the sun. The key is to commit to a certain amount of time, realist to you, and be present.
  • Hang out with kids. Kids need your attention today more than ever. They need to be shown how to communicate outside of texting. Play board games, go for a walk, or read a book together. Just spend time with kids. You will laugh, you will feel joy, and you may even have the wonderful feeling of being a kid again.
  • Give financially. All organizations need money to further their cause. If time is something sparse for you (although, you really should consider if you can make time because it has the most value to you), then give financially. Often you can choose the use of your donation. Purchase soccer balls for a school in need of gym equipment, sponsor a kid to go to camp, or purchase meals for people who cannot leave their homes.
  • Show gratitude to others. This is perhaps the most significant thing you can do for your family, friends, and coworkers. People are bombarded by negative messages all day long. You can be the light of someone’s day by giving them “thanks” for who they are to you. If there is an opportunity, praising someone in public is a good idea too. A combination of private and public appreciation is an awesome way to give back.
  • Become a leader or founder. Join a Board of Directors of an organization you wish to support. You can also start something new with a group of friends or colleagues. Perhaps it is planting a community garden or creating audio tapes of books for those who cannot read. The key is to recruit others making the undertaking easier and more fun.

Benefits of Giving Back

  • You will feel happier and enjoy fulfillment in your life.
  • Your business will improve. According to Cone Communications Public Relations and Marketing, 85% of people have a better image of a company when it supports a cause they like. In addition, 79% say they would switch companies, other factors being equal, if the other brand supports a good cause. (conecomm.com). This is very powerful stuff!
  • You can and should share your giving back to the community in your company’s marketing. The intent is to help your charity have more exposure, or if you are giving praise, to highlight a certain person.
  • The benefits are not all about you, however, you are likely to be the recipient of giving back as well.

The easiest way to get started is to develop your own plan to give back. Ensure what you choose to do is realistic for your situation. Include your plans on your calendar.  You can set your calendar to give praise more often, perhaps a weekly “shout out” to your team members, or a hand-written note to your child. Give back more and you will have the best year ever!

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