Friday, January 28, 2022

Getting Personal, ‘tis the Giving Season…

Time, treasure, trust, love, and kindness are gifts no matter how defined.   What do millionaires think about giving?  Our research findings reveal that life satisfaction includes additional giving to those outside of our own families.

Beyond providing support to family, we find that satisfied millionaires give more money and time to charity.  Especially with volunteering, satisfied millionaires give three times as many hours and are twice as likely to say they actually enjoy it.  Consistent with giving and having a stable household, satisfied millionaires are more than twice as likely to say they are at peace with their soul.  They have achieved true prosperity.

Caring and sharing leads to true prosperity.  Consider the uncertainty of Annie as expressed in a letter to the authors.



Who Are Dissatisfied Who Are Satisfied

Behavioral or Life Choices



Percent who enjoy volunteering



Average hours volunteered yearly



Dear Drs.,

I am blessed in every way—a great family, a good-paying job that I enjoy, and good health for my entire family.

I’ve been thinking about volunteering for a nonprofit organization on a limited basis. My question about volunteering is, does helping others provide a more feel-good benefit to the volunteer than actual benefit to those being helped?

Unsure Annie

Dear Annie,

Volunteering most likely will do both. It will help the volunteer at an intrinsic level and help the recipient at a practical level. It largely depends on what you volunteer for and the extent to which you complete your tasks.

Working with others for the benefit of the less fortunate provides an opportunity for camaraderie, a feeling of accomplishment, and in all likelihood will enhance one’s self-esteem. Further, volunteering is a chance for hands-on networking and a good feature on one’s resume.

So yes, offering one’s time and talent is a choice that helps others and certainly yields potential benefits to the volunteer.

Further, our research findings clearly reveal that happiness increases with volunteering.

We are free to make choices. Is a healthy lifestyle practiced? Do we create a homegrown culture of superfluous stuff for ourselves and/or for our families?  Do we create a nurturing environment?  What examples do we set for our closest observers?  Is kindness and generosity practiced?

Our empirical evidence shows that it is possible to hold a modest financial net worth and be very happy.  It is difficult to imagine a life without happiness, no matter the level of financial net worth.

So, yes this is the giving season and a perfect time for introspection.

New York Times bestselling author William D. Danko and Richard J. Van Ness, wrote the research-based book, “Richer Than A Millionaire ~ A Pathway to True Prosperity,” which shows the way to wealth and happiness through embracing traditional values.  Content appearing in this article is based on excerpts from the authors’ book.  The book is available at and bookstores. Visit the authors’ website,

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