“Give First, Share Always and Lift as We Climb.” This philosophy is at the heart of eWomenNetwork. Founder and CEO, Sandra Yancey, started the eWomenNetwork Foundation about the same time she started her company nearly 2 decades ago. From the very beginning, her vision of success included helping children in need and to empower women to succeed. Sandra will be the first to tell you that giving is the secret sauce to a successful business.
Sandra’s pension for giving stems from her traumatic childhood and the values by which she was raised. She grew up on public assistance after her father was killed in a car accident on her 5th birthday. Despite their difficult circumstances, her mother always felt there were others in greater need. She raised her 3 children to believe that you’re never too rich or too poor to serve.
Sandra’s mother ingrained in her children that “To much is given, much is required.” So as Sandra’s business grew into a multi-million dollar company, those values became ever-more prominent. Each of the hundreds of Accelerated Networking Events® (A.N.E.’S) that occur throughout the eWomenNetwork chapters across the U.S. and Canada include a proprietary process that spotlights each member expressing to the others what she needs most in her business. Everyone at the event comes from a place of giving, so the result is a networking event where everyone is there to serve.
Turns out science proves that giving actually makes people happy. Research by social psychologist, Liz Dunn, shows that most people’s sense of happiness is greater when they spend more on others than themselves. One of Dunn’s surveys of over 600 U.S. citizens found spending money on others predicted greater happiness, no matter what your income level is. Rich or poor, spending more on others than yourself leads to happiness.
Giving not only makes you feel good, but it’s also good for business. Here’s why:
There is one caution to giving. Be careful not to give so much that you give yourself away. Jenny Santi, Author of The Giving Way to Happiness: Stories & Science Behind the Life-Changing Power of Giving, offers up the following tips for healthy giving in an article she wrote for Time Magazine.
It is not how much we give, but how much love we put into giving. It should not be simply a matter of choosing the right thing, but also a matter of choosing what is right for us.
We don’t all have the same amount of money, but we all do have time on our hands, and can give some of this time to help others—whether that means we devote our lifetimes to service, or just give a few hours each day or a few days a year.
According to Harvard scientist Michael Norton, “Giving to a cause that specifies what they’re going to do with your money leads to more happiness than giving to an umbrella cause where you’re not so sure where your money is going.”
“Selfless giving, in the absence of self-preservation instincts, easily becomes overwhelming,” says Adam Grant, author of Give & Take. It is important to be “otherish,” which he defines as being willing to give more than you receive, but still keeping your own interests in sight.
We have all felt the dread that comes from being cajoled into giving, such as when friends ask us to donate to their fundraisers. This type of giving doesn’t lead to a warm glow feeling; more likely it will lead to resentment. Instead we should set aside time, think about our options, and find the best charity for our values.
I don’t want to discourage people from giving to good causes just because that doesn’t always cheer us up. If we gave only to get something back each time we gave, what a dreadful, opportunistic world this would be! Yet if we are feeling guilt-tripped into giving, chances are we will not be very committed over time to the cause.
In a giving mode yet? There are so many charities out there to choose from either to volunteer your time or donate money. It’s important to decide what it is you’re most passionate about and find the charity that suits you.
The eWomenNetwork Foundation provides a multitude of ways for our members to reach out beyond their own companies to support women who are less fortunate. Through funds raised by our member chapters and the generosity of many others, eWomenNetwork Foundation has been able to provide, among other things:
If you would like to learn more about The eWomenNetwork Foundation, please feel free to send an email to Foundation@eWomenNetwork.com.
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Content Manager, eWomenNetwork