Why Investors Should Give Back to Their Communities Year Round (NOT Just at the Holidays!)

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I consider myself to be a festive person when it comes to the holiday season, but there is one thing that I believe we should practice year-round that only seems to be “trendy” during this time of year.

I’m sure many of you have started your holiday shopping, and maybe you are one of the Black Friday shopping enthusiast who camps out for the “gotta have, door-busting, great deal of the year.” If you’re that person, then I hope you battled the crowds and were able to find that deal you were dying to get your hands on. Black Friday is not what infuriates me about the holidays, and it’s not all the warm and fuzzy shoppers being polite, either. What tends to bother me is the people who only think to give during this time of the year. How does this relate to real estate investing, you may ask? It not only relates to real estate investing, but also business in general. Let’s look at a few concepts that are overlooked when it comes to being a giver.

Before starting, I must state that I’m a “giver.” This is one of 20 affirmations that I recite every morning. Let me stick a pin right here for a second: If you are not professing, claiming or speaking positive affirmations to yourself daily, you are missing out on a key component to success. One thing that I’ve learned is that the majority of out battles in life start within our minds.

According to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America, anxiety disorders are the most common mental illness in the US, affecting 40 million adults in the United States ages 18 and older, or 18% of the population. WOW! Many of our struggles are self-inflicted. Yes, these 40 million adults may have had some tragic, life-altering event that may have occurred, but regardless of our personal circumstances, life knocks us all down.

Sorry about the tangent. Let’s get back to giving.

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Escaping the “Me” Mentality

This is so profound that I’ve found after studying the concept of giving, it has given me a greater appreciation for helping others. I will admit I used to be so focused on what I had to do, what I needed, and what I wanted that I lost more than what I was trying to gain. So this is to let you know that I did not always believe in the power of assistance, and hopefully this article can change someone from having that “me” mentality.

Related: The Power of Gratitude: How to Boost Profits & Spread Joy With Thank You Notes

Let’s look at a few basic constructs that make up the concept of giving.

Let’s begin with money. The purpose of money is to be given as tender for a service or a good provided, hence the term “currency.” Currency must flow from one to another for it to be utilized effectively. The root word for currency is “current,” which means “in circulation.” This is the basis for creating an economic engine. If you can remember at the beginning of the recession of 2008, the US Government (which you may or may not have been in favor of) enacted a tax stipend for low and middle wage income earners to help stimulate the economy. This was done to have currency flowing in and out of the markets. I’m not an economics major, but I get the gist. It’s as simple as this: If you have $20 clenched in your fist, nothing can come out and nothing can get in.

I’ve read a book some years ago called the The Richest Man Who Ever Lived by Steven K. Scott. It was a great book, and I periodically revisit my highlights and notes. When reading it, I saw some parallels to Rich Dad Poor Dad by Robert Kiyosaki, which happens to be the real estate investor’s bible. One of the prevailing principles is to give 10% of your earnings to charity. Yes, GIVE. If you grew up in a religious household, you might call it “tithing.” Even the US Tax Code makes allotments for giving; it’s called the Charitable Contribution, which is fully deductible.

The More I Give, the More I Receive

This may not be for everyone — I thought it wasn’t for me many years ago — but I have found the more I give, the more I receive. I do not necessarily look for a direct return because my investments bring me my returns, but my giving throughout the year is me simply saying “thank you” for what I’m provided, and the more I give, the more I seem to receive unexpectedly. I may not receive anything back in the form of money, but it may be in the form of favors from others or in a great deal popping up.

Related: Flippers: Save on Trash Outs AND Help the Community With This Tip

Giving is a great way to remain humble and to be helpful to someone else. As a wholesaler, I make sure even if the seller and I cannot agree to terms, I provide them with a value-add. I may keep them informed on market updates, referral services, or some other service but I make sure our conversation is not focused on what I want. I will also periodically send a thank you card and a gift card of some sort to my stakeholders (title agents, real estate agent, contractor, etc.) just to say I appreciate their assistance.

So give it a try throughout the year. Give not just during the holiday season, but during all seasons. You can start by choosing four local charitable institutions and giving them a donation quarterly. This can be a children’s hospital, cancer center, homeless shelter, battered women’s shelter, Habitat for Humanity, or any number of organizations that share your core beliefs and values. Try it and see what happens. Giving is infectious!

What are YOU doing this holiday season (and throughout the entire year) to give back to your community?

I would love to hear some of things you all do to help out!

About Author

Marcus Maloney

Marcus Maloney G+ is the Executive Officer of Equity Realty & Investments as well as 3rd Generation Management & Holding LLC, both are family owned and operated real estate investment firms. The firms' goal is to provide affordable solutions in real estate while providing exceptional opportunities for community redevelopment for the residents of Phoenix, Arizona and Chicago, Illinois. You can follow Marcus on Twitter

9 Comments

  1. Tim Hoffman

    Marcus, I agree 100% with giving. Before I got into RE, we gave $10-$15/week, (sad I know). As I started giving more, a feeling of abundance came over me and I gave more which brought more abundance and so on in an endless circle.

    Outside of a Church setting, we sponsor a T-ball team and a Coach Pitch team in the local park district baseball league.

    Just last month, I was discussing with my wife about forgiving a debt of someone who we had loaned some money to. About an hour later one of my past tenants called and said he wanted to buy a house and my eviction from a couple years ago was showing up and he wanted to pay his debt. About the same amount we had just discussed forgiving.

    Give with no expectations of a return and you will be surprised how good you feel.

    • Marcus Maloney

      Tim,

      That is great you are doing things in your community. We need more investors to give back and not just during the holidays. I know there are plenty of us doing similar efforts, and we need more, but ts good to know that giving is essential.

      I try and tell people that life is about giving and receiving, the key is giving 1st. Even in our communication you give a message and receive feedback. This is why no man is an island because we a created to sow and reap.

      Thank you for your post I’m hoping that more readers will acknowledge and understand this concept. Again, thanks for reading.

      “Enjoying the Journey”

  2. John C. Carlson

    I also agree 100%. I’m criticized a lot because I hand a dollar or two to the “street corner” people. I’m told things like: “they all drive BMW’s & make more than you bumming dollars all day”.

    That’s OK with me. Not all of them are scammers. Those that are scammers will be judged by a Higher Power than me. I operate on the assumption that I will help 9 of 10 people who really can use a dollar or two.

    I belong to the Knights of Columbus & our Council went to a house in our community & cleaned up their 1/2 acre lot because they just couldn’t do it. We try to do this at least a couple of times a year.

    Giving is not just about money. Giving your time or muscle is also beneficial.

    • Dan Heuschele

      I hope this is constructive criticism because it is great that you give.

      However, giving to the people on the street corner even if they are not scammers is often not beneficial. Many street people have issues including addictions and mental issues. The money is often squandered on drugs, sex, or alcohol.

      Even if the money is spent on something essential such as food or clothing the money would go much further if given to a charitable entity that feeds and clothes the needy. These charities get discounts due to volume and because they are charities so the dollars they spend buy items far below retail. A dollar given to such an entity is likely to go as far as $2 spent wisely by the street corner person (and much of the money given to the street corner people is not spent wisely).

      To obtain the most benefit from the money you donate it should not go to the street corner person but to the charitable entities that feed, clothe, shelter, and treat the needy.

      In addition, donations to charitable entities are easier to track for tax purposes (not that donating should primarily be done for the tax benefits).

      So I suggest instead of providing the street corner person a couple dollars instead provide a charitable entity that feeds/clothes the needy the money instead (monthly, quarterly, or annually).

      • Marcus Maloney

        Dan,

        I totally agree with you on this, giving to the charitable organization is much more beneficial that just giving to a corner solicitor. There are plenty of scammers and I am not saying that all corner solicitors are, but some of them do have issues beyond financial and need more care than financial resources. Charitable organizations is the best way to help. Thanks for your feedback.

        “Enjoying the Journey”

  3. Sarah Shockley

    Love this post! It’s so important to have the mindset of giving, and not be focused on scarcity.

    Another reason year-round giving is a good idea – Investors and landlords don’t have a good reputation in general. Anything we can do to change perception of our industry benefits us all.

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