#GivingTuesday: What Does Giving Back Mean to You?

To mark this year’s GivingTuesday, we surveyed our growing team of 45 people to learn what giving back means to them, how they've engaged in causes they support, and how their time at GivingData has influenced their giving choices. 

Not surprisingly, the act of giving and giving back takes on many forms across our team. From the simple act of volunteering at food banks and donating to local charities, the responses reflect a shared commitment to making a positive impact. 

In honor of #GivingTuesday, we thought we’d share a few highlights from the survey. 

GivingTuesday 2023 Infographic-4

Several folks on our team echoed the view that giving back is not a purely selfless act but a reciprocal exchange with mutual rewards. The John Templeton Foundation's research report describes several intrapersonal factors that can influence generosity, including feelings of empathy, compassion, and a sense of "oneness" with others. When we help others under this state of oneness, we feel like we're also helping ourselves.

One example is Alf Gracombe's experience as a coach and mentor to Boston-area kids in his local youth soccer league. 

“A significant moment for me is during the kickoff events of each soccer season, a time that brings together hundreds of families out on the field. My role in organizing these events has been deeply rewarding, as I’ve seen the program provide a safe and welcoming space for people to connect and children to be active playing a sport and making friends.” 

At GivingData, we aim to foster a culture of giving back, whether it be to our local communities or on a broader scale. 

Each holiday season, for example, we make a donation to Rosie's Place, a Boston-based nonprofit whose mission is ”to provide a safe and nurturing environment that helps poor and homeless women maintain their dignity, seek opportunity, and find security in their lives.”

We asked our team how their work at GivingData has expanded or enhanced their perspective on giving back. Here are just a few of the responses.

I cannot count the ways. One of the most insightful discoveries has been learning about all the ways that foundations are supporting policy change and advocacy in addition to grantmaking

Being part of a community of people who share a mission of making a difference in the world has really opened my eyes to the truly collaborative effort that it requires. Individually, each of our contributions makes a difference, and when we work together on supporting a single issue, the opportunities to make a positive impact increase.

The combination of my professional life at GivingData and the more hands-on work in local youth soccer has provided me with a perspective of how the social investment work of grantmakers combines with on-the-ground efforts at the community level.

This intertwining of our personal and professional lives underscores the idea that giving back is not an individual but a collective endeavor to support positive change. 

It's one of many reasons we're honored to work with a growing community of grantmaking foundations, which last year awarded more than 17,000 grants to causes ranging from social justice and environmental preservation, to medical research and reproductive rights. 

On this GivingTuesday, let’s remember that the act of giving, in all its forms, has the power to shape a better future for us all. 

We'd love to hear what giving back means to you. Join the conversation with us on LinkedIn

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