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The Secret to Happiness?

  • About CFT,
  • donors,
  • nonprofits
The Secret to Happiness?

If you ask us, it's just one word

Recently, Pastor Matt Miofsky gave a  guest sermon at my church. His book, “Happy? What It Is and How to Find It,” reveals that the secret to happiness is GIVING. But it’s not just a theory – there are actually myriad scientific studies that back up his claim.

Research has shown that giving triggers the release of serotonin, oxytocin and endorphins in the brain, which are proven to boost levels of happiness. But more than that, people who are generous have lower blood pressure, lower levels of stress and longer life expectancies.

We constantly bear witness to the positive feelings that giving generates. But are certain types of giving better suited for one individual over another? We believe the answer is yes, and we encourage individuals and families to develop their own unique approach to charitable giving by identifying their core values.
CFT offers a set of values cards as well as a brief course called GiveWisely to help individuals, families and companies identify values, pinpoint passions and create charitable plans.

Our free Giving Guide of North Texas nonprofits, reviewed and evaluated by CFT staff, is available on our website. We also encourage our fund holders to create personal giving statements. The following are a few questions to ask yourself when beginning to craft your charitable giving strategy.

Ask yourself:

  • What are your motivations to give?
  • What inspires you?
  • What are your core values?
  • In which ways do you want to give your time, talent and/or treasure?
  • Do you want to give publicly or privately?
  • Do you want to give now or beyond your lifetime through your will?
  • How will you communicate your legacy to your family and friends?

A report from the Johnson Center for Philanthropy highlighted that the next generation of philanthropists are driven by values and are heavily influenced by their families. Are you communicating your values to your children? Are you passing on the secret to happiness?

We recently brought Ron Lieber of The New York Times and author of The Opposite of Spoiled: Raising Kids Who Are Grounded, Generous, and Smart About Money to speak at our annual fund holder dinner. Lieber highlighted the importance of having conversations with children about values and giving, starting from the very first time they start asking questions about money. He also encouraged sharing family history as a means of connecting children with values. Lieber reminded us that our giving reflects on the next generation, and they deserve to know what we’re giving to.

To learn more or to request a confidential giving consultation, contact Monica at megert@cftexas.org or 214-750-4135.

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