Why Do You Give?

Last month’s post, What’s In It For Me?, proved controversial and evoked comments and discussion (which is part of what we want to do!) around selfishness / self-centeredness, especially when it comes to charity.

I participated in an event the other day where we talked about “Thanksliving”. Yep, that’s not a typo. Thanksliving. So in this week in which we celebrate one of the more popular American holidays (usually by eating, drinking, watching parades and sports, and shopping), let’s take a more positive approach and look at why  people (including you and me) do give.

Sometimes it really is out of a sense of gratitude; sometimes it’s from a sense of guilt; sometimes it’s because our hearts have been stirred by something; sometimes it’s because we want something in return (even if it’s only a tax-deduction); and sometimes it’s because we just feel it’s the right thing to do.

From the standpoint of the receiver of the gift — be that a charity or individual — maybe the motivation of the giver isn’t such a big thing. After all, in the case of a charity, if the money gets received that allows for the programs to be accomplished, does it really matter why someone or some business gave?

Well, maybe it does. It’s always good to know that those who support our foundation‘s work are on board with our mission. It also helps us who are doing the work to know that we’re not just on the other side of the cynical “What’s in it for me?” coin.

Here are just a few of my favorite reasons that people have shared about why they support our work:

      • “I give . . . because I cannot imagine this world without Earl, but if he can’t be here, at least his extraordinary genius will live on through the music he created. And perhaps — riding on the notes of his brilliant compositions — his huge heart, sustaining wisdom, and unstoppable humor will continue to inspire, comfort and delight us for years to come.  I miss him beyond words, but am blessed to be able to hear his music time and time again. That is why . . . . “

      • “I give because Earl Wentz gave.  He gave laughter not just to countless audiences but to everyone he met. He gave music to the world. He gave encouragement to his hundreds of students. And he gave love in everything he did.   That’s why I give . . . . “

      • “I had the joy and honor of working with Earl as my teacher and he taught me so much about music and life through his passion for both.  I miss him, but his music will live on as a reminder of his beautiful spirit.  I give . . . so others can experience his music and as a tribute to his life.

      • “There are so many reasons . . . !  Continuing Earl’s work is actually a gift to the world. You know how everyone gets all excited when someone finds an unpublished piece of music from Berlin or Gershwin? Well, Earl’s legacy is of the same magnitude –- but it needs to be heard to be appreciated and loved, which is why funding the preservation and publication of these buried treasures is so important.”

      • Earl was a giver . . . .  A lot of my confidence to appear on stage came from Earl.  He believed in me, in my abilities and my aspirations.  He was always there to give you a boost when you needed it . . . .”

So . . . in this season of thanks and giving . . .

Why do you give?

Why not?

If you give to The Earl Wentz and William Watkins Foundation, specifically, please share with us at the foundation and others in the community — especially those who may be considering a gift — why.

I invite you to “weigh in” with your own comments and ideas and to share them with other readers by using the “Comments” feature above. You can click the “Comments” button at the top of the page to see what other readers have to say and to create a dialogue with them.

And . . . you can give easily by clicking this link.

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