Does It Matter Why We Give?

This post also appears on Engaging Volunteers.

Greg Baldwin is rethinking the science of generosity.
Greg Baldwin is rethinking the science of generosity.

Greg Baldwin, President of VolunteerMatch, is not a scientist by training. However, last week he published an article on Fast Co.Exist as part of Catchafire’s series on the future of service in America called “Rethinking the Science of Generosity.”

Why is our prez suddenly so fascinated with science? And why does it matter?

As Greg explained in his article, for a long time science has not provided much warm and fuzzy support for the practice of giving back. After all, evolution and the survival of the fittest naturally have us competing, not helping each other.

As Greg points out, this can’t be the whole story. At VolunteerMatch we see firsthand how many individuals are ready to step up and help others as volunteers and as nonprofit staff members. So where is the science in that?

Alternate theories are in fact emerging as to why we give back, and over the coming year Greg will be further exploring the science behind our good deeds. After all, as he says in his article, “The question of why people give is at the heart of whether it’s even possible to convince someone to make a difference who doesn’t already want to.”

Read Greg’s full article on Fast Co.Exist, and tell us: Why do you give?

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