Charity: Not Just a Tax Deduction

Recently I had the opportunity to speak at a networking luncheon where the subject of charitable event participation came up. One of the attendees, the leader of a non-profit organization, asked the question “how can we obtain greater participation and support from large corporations for our charitable activities and events?” My initial response was, don’t start the conversation with “and it is fully tax-deductible”, it sends the wrong message.

Charity is about the giving of your time, talents and gifts to help others – it should not be about a tax write-off. Charitable contributions should be about active participation and involvement in doing the right things the right way to help others in need. Most of what we need to be charitable and care-givers we learned by the time we were four years old. The Golden Rule principles we were all taught early in life still apply today. The most fundamental of those things we learned – “treat people the way you want to be treated” should be at the center of it all.

As a global society, is this how we are living our lives today – are we treating people the way we would want to be treated?

Charity and servant leadership in the global society is not someone else’s job; it is all of our jobs. It’s about finding homes for families that need a place to live, food for the hungry, shelter for the homeless, love and a family for children who have been abandoned, or understanding and hope for those who are hurting and in need. Each one of us must assume a broader servant leadership role within our families, our churches and charities, our local communities and our workplaces. Why? It is the right thing to do.

America is the wealthiest nation in the world, yet 34 million Americans go to bed hungry each night and one in every six live below the poverty line today. Just think for a moment how dire the situation is for so many others who live outside the U.S. borders. For example, my friend Sandy Anderson with Build International Ministries works to provide life wells and clean water to remote villages in Southeast Asia. Many of the women in these villages today must walk five hours each day to bring back water that is undrinkable.

As our world has become smaller our common problems, like the one referenced above, have been amplified. Our interconnected society needs more servant leaders and care-givers within every corner of the world who are capable of making a difference and who will work together to solve the global human challenges we face. No problem we encounter is so great it cannot be overcome if we all work together in service to others.

Will you be the kind of servant leader our global society needs?

Being charitable and a servant leader is about making a positive impact on the world around you, not for self-serving motives or tax deductions, but for the greater good of mankind. The time for action is now. My challenge to each of you is to become a servant leader and find ways to utilize your time, talents and your gifts to make a global difference.

Enjoy the journey!

COPYRIGHT © 2011 John Carroll