What eight years in the nonprofit world taught me about generosity

By Nik Aamlid, Wealth Advisor

There’s an interesting paradox that I’ve discovered over the years: “You give more, you get more.”

Give joy to others and you yourself will find joy. Do kind things for others and you will find others doing kind things for you. Be generous with yourself, your time and your treasure and you will feel rich beyond measure. Really, when you think about it, giving is not just for the recipient – it’s for the giver, as well.

Map out Your Future with Giving in Mind

One of the stories that has impacted me the most since joining Pinnacle is one that Kevin Engbers, founder and CEO, told about a client who confided: “I spent all my health building my wealth; now I spend all my wealth maintaining my health.” This sentiment holds true for many.

I believe that a lot of this comes from the world’s introduction to the Joneses. The Joneses are the picture of the American dream – the family with whom all others are trying to keep up. However, what has been lost in this pursuit is our understanding of “enough,” our desire to put others ahead of ourselves, and our ability to find peace and balance.

That’s why I firmly believe in planning and mapping out your financial future. Once you know what “enough” looks like, you have the freedom to live your life more fully and give more generously. What a picture it would be if everyone’s greatest desire was to make the lives around them better.

The Five Truths of Generous People

Thanksgiving impacts many of us deeply because we get a small glimpse of what a truly generous world can look like. But why stop at just a season? What would it look like to create this world year-round? I was blessed to work in nonprofit development for eight years. During that time, I built relationships with some of the most generous people I’ve ever been around. Here are a few things I learned about generosity along the way:

  1. Generosity has nothing to do with a certain dollar amount. It is solely based on what you do with what you have. This could be time, talent or treasure. We know this as sacrificial giving.
  2. The most generous people are often the most joyful.
  3. Truly generous people give without any expectation for return. Things may certainly come full-circle, but it is not the motivating factor behind a gift.
  4. Generous people are often the most optimistic and passionate people you will meet – they truly believe they can make a difference in the world.
  5. Generous people – regardless of net worth – spend well and save well.

Tailor Generosity to Your Situation

Let’s face it, friends. We all have a lot to give. Our challenge this Thanksgiving season is to be intentional about looking for opportunities. We would love to help you and your family discover what that can mean in your specific situation. Whether it be a word of encouragement, some ideas of needs in our community, or a full financial analysis to find the best way to make a financial impact, we are here for you!

I always like to remember this quote from Winston Churchill: “We make a living by what we get. We make a life by what we give.” Let’s build a joyful and generous community together. Happy Thanksgiving!

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