It’s Not All About Giving Money: It’s About Giving Your Time and Talents by Roxanne Jensen, Ed. S., GPC

This Giving Tuesday, it’s not all about giving money: it’s about also giving your time and talents. Here are three ways to give back this holiday season that don’t involve opening up your wallet.

  1. Cultivate an attitude of abundance. One of the biggest fears held within humanity is the fear of loss. We may fear losing a job, partner, or lifestyle (especially money). But fear can call our attention to what we have and gratefully remind us to take steps to care for what we have been given. Sometimes, we lack acceptance of what is, and this leads to a lack of gratitude. Holding fast to identities and predetermined decisions fuels our daily choices and habitual behaviors. Coming from a place of “enough” helps us practice gratitude and cultivate an attitude of abundance. What do you have to give today? What can you be generous with?
  2. Show gratitude to those around you. Be grateful for your life and what you have. Every day brings a new opportunity to live (and change) your life. Use this gratitude to be humble and to show respect to those around you and for this world we live in. Live meaningfully and be a positive force in your own life and in the lives that you touch. People who experience the most gratitude tend to acknowledge its importance, appreciate the contributions of others, and recognize and enjoy life’s small pleasures.
  3. Give your time. A recent paper published in Psychological Science ( shows that helping other people can actually increase feelings of “time affluence” and alleviate the perceived “time famine.” The research demonstrates that spending time on others makes people feel like they have done a lot with their time. This perception of increased productivity results in individuals feeling as though they more time, overall. As Rick Warren once said, “Time is your most precious gift because you only have a set amount of it. You can make more money, but you can’t make more time. When you give someone your time, you are giving them a portion of your life that you’ll never get back. Your time is your life. That is why the greatest gift you can give someone is your time…”

If we want to leave a lasting imprint on people we encounter, we must use whatever we have to offer. These are our gifts and talents. In return, we benefit from other people’s talents. We benefit from Jobs’ and Wozniak’s personal computers, Edison’s light bulb, Ford’s automotive ideas, or Johnson & Johnson Company’s duct tape. Almost everyone around us contributes to our welfare in one way or another. Now here’s the key question: how do other people benefit from our gifts or talents? We may change someone’s life just because we exercise our gift. It doesn’t need to be a huge effort. Start small and someone will be inspired.

GPC Competency 7: Knowledge of practices and services that raise the level of professionalism of grant developers.  Skill 3: Identify strategies that grant developers use in building social capital to benefit their communities and society at large.

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