Charity During a Global Pandemic

“The returns from investing in poor people are just as great as the returns from investing in the business world… and have even more meaning.” – Bill Gates

Are you considering donating to charity during the current pandemic that is sweeping across the globe? If so, do you know which charitable organization you plan to support? If not, there are compelling reasons why you should reconsider this decision. However, at the outset of this article, it’s essential to note that, while it is there is a substantial argument for the rationale being contributing to a charitable organization, it is still your decision.

A snapshot of the world as we know it 

The world is currently facing a global pandemic of epic proportions. In summary, a novel coronavirus (COVID-19) was first seen in China towards the end of 2019. The World Health Organization declared the epidemic a public health emergency on 30 January 2020 and upgraded it to a global pandemic on 11 March 2020. 

The numbers of active infections and deaths from the coronavirus have increased exponentially, with the first 100 00 cases recorded on 7 March 2020. As of today, 16 April 2020, there are more than 2 million infections across the world, with 130 000 deaths recorded. 

Most of the world’s population is under some form of lockdown or stay-at-home order, causing catastrophic damage to the global economy. The cost to the world’s economy is likely to be about $1 trillion (USD), with the world moving into a recession similar to the one experienced in 2008.

Why donate to charity?

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It is possibly logical to assume that, under the current circumstances, the best thing to do is to hunker down, spend as little as possible, and wait the epidemic out. And, it is equally rational to assume that donating to charities like Yad Ezra V’Shulamit does not make sense. 

However, this statement could not be further from the truth. There is a scientifically backed argument showing the value of giving during stressful times, like the current pandemic. Consequently, here are a few pertinent points that demonstrate the value of giving during traumatic times: 

Giving makes you feel good

While this reason might seem selfish at a first glance, there is good reason for this. Jenny Santi in her article titled, The Science Behind the Power of Giving, notes that “scientific research provides compelling data to support the notion that giving one’s time, talents and treasures is a powerful pathway to finding purpose, transcending difficulties, and finding fulfillment and meaning in life.

Another way to describe this is that when we do a good deed, like helping those less fortunate than ourselves, a group of neurochemicals or brain chemicals, known as endorphins, are released. Not only are these feel-good hormones, but they reinforce social attachments. Humans are naturally social beings. We thrive in communities and need positive, healthy connections with other people. This is why donating to a good cause is such a positive, healthy thing to do.  

Help mitigate the financial pressure on charities 

The fact of the matter is that this global pandemic is creating the need for financial support by philanthropic and charitable organizations like never before. Global unemployment figures are substantially higher than they would be under normal circumstances.

 US unemployment rates show that the real-time unemployment rate is currently 10.1% but could rise to 32.1% before the end of the pandemic. There are no easily accessible global joblessness figures so that we can use the US figures as a benchmark. Therefore, it is safe to assume that global charities are under tremendous financial pressure and need as much monetary help they can get.

Final thoughts 

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These are just two of the many reasons supporting the benefits of donating to charity. However, they provide the raison d’etre for thriving in today’s world.

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