There’s Money In Charity
My rich dad always reminded me of the Bible verse, “Give and you shall receive.” Being generous and giving back to the community are essential elements in growing your business.
You may not know how the returns on your charitable giving will be realized, but they will be. The more people you serve, the richer you will become.
My mom and dad were very generous people, but they were not generous in the same ways my rich dad was. As the head of education for the island of Hawaii, my dad would come home, eat dinner with the kids, and go off to PTA meetings two or three times a week. I remember, as a boy, waving out the kitchen window as my dad backed his car down the driveway after dinner as he went on his way to serve as many families as possible. There were many times he would drive over 100 miles to the meeting and return that night just to see and greet his own kids in the morning.
My mom often had us kids work with her at the church bake sales or rummage sales. She believed strongly in volunteering her time and asked her children to do the same. As a registered nurse, she also volunteered regularly for the American Red Cross. I remember during disasters such as a tidal wave or a volcano, she and my dad would be gone for days on end, serving those in need. When the opportunity to join President Kennedy’s Peace Corps was offered to them, they jumped at it, even though it meant a severe cut in pay.
The Difference Wealth Can Make
Rich dad and his wife came from much the same point of view as my mom and dad did. His wife was active in a women’s group that was constantly raising money for worthy causes. Rich dad donated money regularly to his church and various charities and served on the boards of two nonprofit organizations.
The lesson I learned from both sets of parents was that, whether you are a socialist or a capitalist, charity begins at home. If you want your children to be rich teaching them to serve as many people as possible is a priceless lesson for them to learn.
When I was a little boy, my rich dad asked me to buy three different piggy banks. They were labeled as follows:
- Give: Rich dad believed in giving to churches and charities. He took 10 percent of his gross income and tithed it. He often said, “God does not need to receive, but humans need to give.” Over the years I have found that many of the richest people in the world began their lives with the habit of tithing. Rich dad was certain that he owed much of his good financial fortune to tithing. He would also say, “God is my partner. If you don’t pay your partner, your partner stops working, and you have to work ten times harder.”
- Save: Piggybank number two was for savings. As a rule of thumb, rich dad believed in having enough savings to cover one year’s worth of expenses. For example, if his total expenses per year were $35,000, he thought it important to have $35,000 in savings. After he had that amount in savings, he would tithe the rest. If his expenses went up, then the amount he had in savings had to go up accordingly.
- Invest: In my opinion, it is this bank that gave me a very big head start in life. This is the bank that provided the money by which I would learn to take risks. In other words, it was from this third bank that I got the real money to begin taking risks, making mistakes, learning lessons, and gaining the experience that would stand me in good stead the rest of my life.
Pay Yourself First
Today, my wife and I still have three piggy banks sitting on our dresser. And we still tithe, save and invest. The philosophy of paying yourself first came from George Clason’s book, “The Richest Man in Babylon,” which was written nearly a century ago. And its message still holds true today, despite how the world has changed.
When I study the lives of very rich people, I see that the idea of paying yourself first is paramount in their minds. It is fundamental to their lives. Investment guru and fund manager, Sir John Templeton, said that he does his best to live on 20 percent of his gross income and then saves, tithes, and invests the other 80 percent.
I have carried the lesson of giving back that I learned from my rich dad all my life. My educated dad gave a lot of his time and knowledge, but almost never gave away money. He usually said that he would give when he had some extra money, but of course, there was rarely any extra.
My rich dad gave money as well as education. He believed firmly in tithing. “If you want something, you first need to give,” he would always say. When he was short of money, he gave money to his church or to his favorite charity.
So that’s why I say, “Teach, and you shall receive.” I have found that the more I teach those who want to learn, the more I learn. If you want to learn about money, teach it to someone else. A torrent of new ideas and finer distinctions will come in.
There are times when I have given and nothing has come back, or what I have received is not what I wanted. But upon closer inspection and soul searching, I was often giving to receive in those instances, instead of giving for the joy that giving itself brings.
My dad taught teachers, and he became a master teacher. My rich dad always taught young people his way of doing business. In retrospect, it was their generosity with what they knew that made them smarter. There are powers in this world that are much smarter than we are. You can get there on your own, but it’s easier with the help of the powers that be. You only need to be generous with what you have.
If I could leave one single idea with you, it is that idea. Whenever you feel short or in need of something, give what you want first and it will come back in buckets. That is true for money, a smile, love, or friendship. I know it is often the last thing a person may want to do, but it has always worked for me. I trust that the principle of reciprocity is true, and I give what I want. I want money, so I give money, and it comes back in multiples. I want sales, so I help someone else sell something, and sales come to me. I want contacts, and I help someone else get contacts. Like magic, contacts come to me. I heard a saying years ago that went: “God does not need to receive, but humans need to give.”
Editor, Rich Dad Poor Dad Daily