Where we get our inspiration for Good Giving
The joy of giving
Were you ever told as a child “tis better to give than to receive”? Well it turns out, that’s right!
Numerous studies have shown that giving money to others or to charity will put a much bigger smile on your face than spending on yourself.
Robert H Lustig, who has made a study of happiness, says that although receiving can lead to pleasure, it is giving that really makes us happy. He talks about the ‘4 Cs’ that you need to have true happiness, and Contribution is one of them.
And in Michael Norton’s Ted Talk on How to Buy Happiness, he says it doesn’t matter how little or how much you spend, or even how you spend it, you’ll always be happier spending on others than on yourself.
Here are some good links if you’d like to read more about this:
- The Path to Happiness: it is better to give than to receive - The Guardian
- The science of generosity: why giving makes you so happy - Elite Daily
- Five ways giving is good for you - The Greater Good Science Centre at UC Berkeley
- Survey findings confirm that giving is good for you - New Zealand's Tindall Foundation
- Or for more from Robert H Lustig, you can watch an interview with him on Youtube.
We love good gifts, and we love celebrating, but we don’t love waste. And it turns out that gifts can contribute a lot to the waste in the world. Here are some interesting stats:
- Research shows kiwis throw away 30% more rubbish over the summer holiday period than at other times during the year – and a lot of this is associated with Christmas gifts. The waste we generate just about doubles the week after Christmas and an extra 50,000 tonnes of waste is likely to be produced during the holiday week.
- About half of New Zealanders report that they’ve received at least one unwanted Christmas gift over the past few years and many of those end up on TradeMe. More than 4000 items described as unwanted gifts were listed on Trade Me before lunch on Boxing Day in 2015.
We’re not on a downer about Christmas, or any other giving event. But we know it’s possible to celebrate and still cut out some of that waste – so The Good Registry gives people a chance to do that, and do some good at the same time.
If you’d like more inspiration for reducing your waste simply and inexpensively, we really like the Going Zero Waste website and The Rogue Ginger. The Rogue Ginger even has a guide to reducing waste during the holiday season, which offers 20 tips that are actually relevant to any gifting occasion.
It actually is the thought that counts.
It’s not the gift, it’s not even the fact that someone spent half a day in and out of shops in search of that perfect gift. It’s the knowledge that someone cared enough to get us something that we wanted.
And it’s not always things that make us happy. These days, more and more people are realising the pleasure of having less stuff. Minimalism movements, focusing on decluttering homes and lives, are gaining momentum around the world.
There’s even an “International Buy Nothing Day” that celebrates the simplicity that comes with reducing consumerism in our lives.
Even children can benefit from fewer gifts and more simplicity. The Becoming Minimalist blog offers good advice on why having fewer toys is good for kids and on the gifts that your children will really never forget.
The Good Registry is one way to put the focus not on the gift but on the thought, the care and the love that come with celebrating an important event.
Helping good causes
When you pay your giving forward at The Good Registry, you’re helping good causes do work that really matters.
Don’t just take it from us — take it from them too! We asked Neil O’Styke of the Neonatal Trust NZ to tell us how you help them when you gift through The Good Registry.
From Neil O’Styke, Executive Director, The Neonatal Trust NZ:
We’re excited to be one of the launch charities for The Good Registry, which is an excellent fit with our fundraising strategy — of creating a range of options that are low cost, trusted and add to the choice of how people can support The Neonatal Trust.
The holy grail of fundraising is a pipeline regular income that is enabled with minimal risk and effort. The Good Registry absolutely ticks the boxes for us. For a small organisation with limited resources it is difficult — in terms of both direct cost and opportunity cost — to compete with sophisticated programmes out there. Having a professionally managed platform like The Good Registry adds another string to our fundraising bow, with the benefit of not having to develop a tool for ourselves.
We wish to be able to support more families and do so in a more consistent way. Providing a range of different tools to give through is important for being both relevant, and also easy to deal with. Being able to involve their friends and family through The Good Registry will appeal to many, especially in the modern and connected digital world.
Givers – do you still hanker to give an actual 'thing'?
We know it’s nice to hand something over on the day. It shows the thought, it can demonstrate our love and care.
If this is you, we have some good ideas for you, thanks to the good people of Pinterest and YouTube.
Make a homemade card:
There is no better way to show your love and care than to design, make, and write a personal message in a home made gift card. There’s actually no science to it and no skill whatsoever needed: just get a bit of cardboard or heavy paper, fold it in half, get out your felt pens, coloured pencils, or glue and glitter, and have some fun. (And write some nice, thoughtful words!)
If you want some ideas for how to do it a bit more professionally, here are some links from Youtube:
Here are some good ideas for simple gifts that show you care with minimal cost, fuss or waste:
- Make home-made jam, like this honey, rosemary and blackberry one.
- Make a home-made lemon curd
- Make homemade chutney, like this Christmas Chutney from Nigella Lawson
- You could also look around online for home-made soaps, body scrubs of face oils. There are lots of ideas out there!
- We also love this idea from The Rogue Ginger: For Christmas ask everyone to write down three things they would like to achieve over the next year, like running a half marathon, learning a new skill or saving for a holiday. The lists go into a hat or a bowl and, like Secret Santa, everyone pulls a name out of the hat. The person you choose is the one you are there to support, so you can help them achieve their goals. Nice!