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“If you knew what I know about the power of giving, you would not let a single meal pass without sharing it in some way.”

Quote attributed to the Buddha

Nearly everyone has heard of Black Friday and Cyber Monday, commercial holidays when retailers cut their prices and arrange deals to bring in hoards of customers and kick off the gift-buying season. Far less attention is given to #GivingTuesday. It’s easy to get caught up in the shopping buzz, but as a consequence, it’s easy to overlook the reason behind gift buying and the holiday season—to give thanks.

Although giving to causes, organizations, and local communities is a good deed on its own, research shows that giving back significantly increases the happiness of the do-gooder.

Here’s how:

1) Giving enhances your sense of community

Volunteering time or resources, especially when it leads to face-to-face interactions with others, fosters a sense of community. Being part of a community, or a group of people with shared goals and interests, is a fundamental human drive. Giving back allows us to tap into this urge and increase our individual happiness.

2) Giving boosts self-appreciation

According to PBS’ This Emotional Life, giving—especially spontaneous giving—helps us appreciate and feel grateful for our own good fortune. When we are able to give back we realize that we have something to give in the first place. Even the smallest donation of money or time can be quite humbling.

3) Giving can lead to a cycle of happiness

Eastern traditions like karma tell us that our actions have infinite consequences. In a very practical way, our good actions set in motion a chain reaction of positivity; when others are happy, grateful, and helpful, it spreads to all around them. Kindness is contagious.

4) Giving boosts self-esteem

As anyone who frequently “gives back” will tell you, the joy of making someone happy is more gratifying than you would ever imagine There is nothing more rewarding than knowing that you are the reason for someone else’s smile. In turn, this self-esteem boost bleeds over into other aspects of an individual’s outlook and disposition.

Give back this holiday season!

Since its launch in 2012, #GivingTuesday has been celebrating and encouraging the act of giving. This national day is about democratizing altruistic gestures, big or small. According to, the movement has more than 30,000 partners in 68 countries, including the Rubin Museum of Art. The Rubin Museum’s work is only possible because of individuals like you who believe that compelling connections can be made with the art and cultures from the Himalayas, India and surrounding regions.

There are many ways to join #GivingTuesday:

For questions about #GivingTuesday or making a gift, please contact the membership team by email or call 212.620.5000 x313.