The word on the street is the global economy is heating up again. That’s great news. Yet what no one talks about is how in good times or bad, nonprofits routinely get the short end of the stick. Even in eras of economic growth, most struggle to meet their budgets; now, after five years of belt-tightening, many are cinched to the core.
Something is out of whack. In an era when joblessness, stretched household budgets, and deeper government cuts have become the norm, society needs not fewer but more nonprofits to offer a hand up or a way out. Philanthropy is more necessary than ever.
Look at the crowds in any major mall or auto dealership in America. In good times and bad, shopping is offered up as therapy. Somewhere in our evolution, we got our priorities wrong. We decided our bucks were better spent on stuff than on charity, better spent on ourselves than on others. Ignoring the real problems bedeviling our communities, we’ve opted instead for Band-Aid solutions that give us a fraudulent sense of satisfaction. We feel better – at least until our widget’s warranty expires or the next one goes on sale.
Shopping isn’t the solution. In fact, it’s the distraction from the solution. Many studies find people actually feel better when they’re helping others. “People think happiness comes when you get things for yourself,” says Richard Ryan, a psychologist at the University of Rochester. “Turns out that in a paradoxical way, giving gets you more.”
Giving gets you more. This simple distinction drives us at DISTINC to work towards connecting people with causes and causes with funds. We help nonprofits develop communication strategies that heal not just their bottom lines but their neighborhoods and communities as well. We believe in bucking the broken system and restoring priorities in order to solve problems – not distract ourselves from them.