What’s love got to do with charity?

Research | February 11, 2020
Jar filled with love

It may not surprise you that love and charity go hand-in-hand. Here are some quick facts on how these two are connected. 

Love and charity have a long history together. The words have been used interchangeably and their connections are strongly forged. These days we think more conventionally of charity as giving to those in need. But archaically, charity was defined as love of humankind.

So, what’s love got to do with charity today? As it turns out a lot. This might be a good sign that giving comes from the heart. 

When we looked at how love and charity intertwined on our own platform, we found that “love” (and its related terms) was one of the most-searched-for topics among donors. It was the top keyword search (when not accounting for searches based on location). 

Donations for love

When donors are looking for “love”, the Charitable Impact platform helps them find it by connecting them to relevant charities. We created a categorizing tag for charities that draws on related words like adulation, amity, amour, cherish, and fondness. At the same time, our search platform takes stock of donors’ interests and provides recommendations based on causes they align with. 

A number of Canadian charities that use the word “love” in their name or their description focus on a wide range of causes, including education, community, health, arts, and animals. We see love as a descriptor across the full spectrum of causes, including Religion & Spirituality (27%), Education (24%), Outreach & Welfare (23%), Community Development (21%), Arts & Culture (8%), Health (7%), Youth & Children (7%), Environment (6%), International (5%), Animals (3%), Human Rights (2%), and Sports & Recreation (1%). 

These causes align closely to the most popular causes among the more than 85,000 Canadian registered charities. The most commonly associated charity causes are Religion & Spirituality, Outreach, Education, and Community Development. 

Graph showing causes among charities tagged with love

All for love

Showing compassion and kindness to others may also be a way to show love to ourselves. Research finds that acting altruistically improves one’s well-being, happiness, and health. 

There are other benefits of being charitable and altruistic that are perhaps more unexpected. Looking to attract others? It turns out it pays to be nice. Research evidence suggests that altruists “may be viewed by others as more attractive mating partners relative to those who are less altruistic”. To add, several recent studies have found that individuals tend to rank “kindness” as the most desirable trait among potential partners. 

This Valentine’s Day, why not exercise some of that love of humankind by acting charitably? It could make your day better in many ways. 

Not sure where to start? Of course, we have some thoughts: you could create a Giving Group rallying your friends and loved ones for a cause, have a party to raise money for a charity close to your heart (Galentine’s Day, anyone?), send charitable dollars with sweet messages to your valentines, or simply take a moment to think about the causes you care about. 

We all have a brighter future that we imagine, so let’s make it happen. Charitable Impact is an online giving platform that makes it simple to give to the causes you care about. When you sign up for a free Impact Account, you can give to all of your favourite causes all from one place. It’s your giving, your way, with our support.

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