Supporting Charity Boosts Optimism, According to Benefact Group Research

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Groundbreaking research conducted by the Benefact Group, the UK’s third-largest corporate donor, highlights the profound impact of charitable giving on mental health and well-being. The Value of Giving 2022 Report reveals a strong correlation between donating and volunteering to charity and increased levels of optimism, a closer sense of community, and higher life satisfaction. These findings shed light on the significant mental health benefits that come from supporting charitable causes.

Key Takeaways:

  • Individuals who donate and volunteer to charity are almost twice as likely to feel optimistic about the future compared to those who do not participate in charitable activities.
  • Donors and volunteers report feeling a closer connection to others and a greater sense of relaxation.
  • The research also indicates that supporting charities positively influences life satisfaction, with volunteering for nine hours being equivalent to the satisfaction gained from earning an additional £1,000 per month.

Charitable Giving and Mental Health Benefits

The Value of Giving 2022 Report, commissioned by the Benefact Group and conducted by the Centre of Economics and Business Research (Cebr), provides compelling evidence of the mental health benefits associated with charitable giving. The research reveals that individuals who donate and volunteer experience a more positive outlook on life, leading to improved mental well-being.

According to the report, 33.8% of adults who donate to charity feel optimistic about the future, compared to 28.2% of non-donors. Similarly, 74.1% of donors report feeling closer to others, while only 65.4% of non-donors share the same sentiment. The positive impact of volunteering is equally significant, with 45.2% of volunteers expressing optimism about the future, compared to just 28.2% of non-volunteers. Volunteers also report feeling more relaxed, with 58.1% experiencing this emotion compared to 48.2% of non-volunteers. Additionally, 70.8% of volunteers feel useful, compared to 66.1% of non-volunteers.

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Moreover, the report reveals that individuals who both donate and volunteer experience even higher levels of positive emotions. They are 1.7 times more likely to feel optimistic about the future compared to those who neither donate nor volunteer. Additionally, 74.6% of individuals who donate and volunteer report feeling closer to others, further emphasizing the social and community benefits of charitable involvement.

Enhanced Life Satisfaction through Charitable Support

The research also examines the impact of charitable giving on life satisfaction. The report demonstrates that volunteering for nine hours is equivalent to the increase in life satisfaction that comes with earning an additional £1,000 per month. Similarly, donating £231 to charitable causes within a 12-month period yields a similar boost in satisfaction levels.

Mark Hews, Group Chief Executive of the Benefact Group, emphasizes the dual benefits of charitable acts. He states, “Giving and volunteering are crucial to civic society. The findings show us that being charitable is not only good for society but also those who take part. The value of charitable acts is hidden in economic terms, as it previously has not been adequately measured. Our Value of Giving report offers first-of-its-kind analysis on how the charity sector significantly contributes to the wider economy while outlining how donating and volunteering also bring benefits to our mental well-being.”

Supporting Charitable Causes: A Path to Well-being

Benefact Group, owned by the registered charity Benefact Trust, is committed to giving back to the community. As the third-largest corporate donor to charity in the UK, Benefact Group has donated over £100 million since 2016 and aims to reach a target of £250 million by 2025. The group’s family of businesses includes Ecclesiastical, Ansvar, EdenTree Investment Management, SEIB Insurance Brokers, Ecclesiastical Financial Advisory Services, Ecclesiastical Planning Services Ltd, Lycetts Insurance Brokers, Lycetts Financial Services, and Lloyd & Whyte.

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Hews adds, “Many companies give time and money generously, but we believe the corporate sector can play a more influential role in supporting the charity sector. We believe the combined effort of businesses collectively donating a proportion of profits and empowering staff to volunteer can be a powerful force in society.”

The Value of Giving 2022 Report serves as a valuable resource for understanding the economic and mental health benefits of charitable giving. It underscores the importance of supporting charitable causes not only for the betterment of society but also for the well-being of individuals.

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