Wealthy People Are Generous
by Hasani Pettirod

The twelfth habit of wealthy people is that they are generous. First Corinthians 9:6 says, “Give and it shall be given unto you; good measure, pressed down, and shaken together, and running over, shall men give into your bosom. For with the same measure that ye mete withal it shall be measured to you again.” Countless wealthy people are known for being very generous, donating at least 10% of their income. They understand that money multiplies fastest when it’s divided and when you share freely, you prime the pump of the universe. A wise man once said, “We make a living by what we get; We make a life by what we give.”

The term "philanthropy" is often used to mean large financial gifts given by wealthy individuals to organizations, institutions or individuals in need. Personal wealth often leads to increased charity and assistance to those who are needy. In fact, most large philanthropic institutions in the United States were founded on the wealth of one individual who was free to amass a great personal fortune. Albert Einstein said, “It is every man's obligation to put back into the world at least the equivalent of what he takes out of it.”

Millionaires are often very generous. Sometimes it’s for the tax breaks, but often it’s not. One Jewish Swiss millionaire, for instance, flew to Israel to give $5,000 in cash to a waiter at a Jerusalem café who foiled a Palestinian suicide bombing. Among the most generous of millionaires are those from North America, who are, according to a Merrill Lynch Cap-Gemini report, two to five times more likely to give to causes they value than their European counterparts.

Financial expert Brett Anderson said “Families who have reached the point at which they no longer measure success in financial terms, but in terms of what their material advantages can accomplish for future generations, must begin to consider developing their own 100-year plans. Creating and maintaining such a plan is an ongoing, proactive process in which each generation takes part, organizing and maintaining family relationships, institutional partnerships, philanthropic activities, and succession planning.”

Clearly giving money is good. Giving can be especially rewarding when it reflects your interests and passions. To be truly effective and rewarding, strategic philanthropy must reflect your core values and concerns. You should first identify those values and concerns, and then choose a charitable focus. To help you move toward strategic giving when you are ready to do so, ask yourself the following questions:


  • Ask yourself what issues or organizations arouse my passion?
  • Do these issues or organizations have a pressing need?
  • Do I know enough about the issues to intelligently assess the difference my funding could make?
  • Given my time and resources, how many issues can I support?
  • What experience is likely to most satisfy me and have the greatest impact on the community?


Once you have resolved the aforementioned issues, generous giving becomes easy. Learn from the generosity of wealthy and decide to do what wealthy people do. Not only is generosity a privilege but a moral obligation as well. Therefore, do what wealthy people do and find a worthy cause and give of your self through your charitable contributions.

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