When we give to charity, our brains release tiny amounts of the happiness neurotransmitter, dopamine. When we give often and at least 2% of our household income, we are likely to be happier than our peers who give less.
The Women Give 2017 report out today reveals "as people’s income rise, they give more and also report greater satisfaction in life." This is true across age, income, and gender. There are even some indications that among single women, especially, giving more is a cause of increased happiness.
The study advises "Open-ended questions about a donor’s most meaningful charitable gift or motivations to give to a particular cause can prompt donors to reflect on why and how they give and the extent to which their giving contributes to their happiness" (p. 17). Get the report here.