January 2018

I came across a Wall Street Journal article that seems pertinent to us as we wind down our Strength-to-Strength campaign. Its title was “How to Suppress Your Inner Scrooge – If giving makes us happier, why are we so quick to dodge chances at charity?” by Raymond Fishman and Michael Luca.

The article showed the dichotomy of the “lengths to which people go to avoid being asked for donations” and the research[1] that shows giving actually brings people happiness.

To prove the point, a study was done where 48 people were given money. One group was told to spend the money on themselves. The other group was told to spend the money on someone else or give it to charity. At the end of the day, the “givers” reported being happier than the “self-gifters”.

Another interesting study stated was asking 2 groups of Salvation Army Santas to behave differently. One group was told NOT to ring their bell and NOT to make eye contact with anyone.  The other group was asked to ring their bells, make eye contact, and to wish shoppers well or directly ask them to donate. Donations went up by 50% or more if Santa engaged people.

To that end, I hope someone from the Board of Trustees has engaged you either by telephone or by speaking to you in person. If you wanted to be reached out to and still haven’t been, please let us know by contacting us at templeadmin@beth-sholom.org.

If you haven’t made your pledge yet or if you want to “be happier”, please make your donation today.

Your donation goes a long way at TBS and EVERY donation means a lot to us.

Stay warm,

[1] 2008 paper for the journal Science by psychologists Laura Aknin, Elizabeth Dunn, and Mike Norton