NYT Op-Ed: ‘Why Fund-Raising Is Fun’

Do you want to have some fun? Raise money for a good cause.

Arthur C. Brooks made that case recently in his op-ed in SundayReview. Brooks made a discovery:

In 2003, while working on a book about charitable giving, I stumbled across a strange pattern in my data. Paradoxically, I was finding that donors ended up with more income after making their gifts. This was more than correlation; I found solid evidence that giving stimulated prosperity. I viewed my results as implausible, though, and filed them away. After all, data patterns never “prove” anything, they simply provide evidence for or against a hypothesis.

Brooks later found that he should not have dismissed his first notion. Charity raises well-being, he wrote, and also stimulates problem-solving and material prosperity.

There’s more.

I have found that the real magic of fund-raising goes even deeper than temporary happiness or extra income. It creates meaning. Donors possess two disconnected commodities: material wealth and sincere convictions. Alone, these commodities are difficult to combine. But fund-raisers facilitate an alchemy of virtue: They empower those with financial resources to convert the dross of their money into the gold of a better society.

Some hopeful stuff for those of us who are reluctant or burned-out fundraisers.

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