The Spirit to Serve: How Giving Pays

“Giving doesn’t make us poor. Giving makes us richer.”

When Arthur Brooks said that in his 2007 lecture at the Marriott School, he didn’t mean richer in only a figurative sense. Before beginning his research though, Brooks thought this idea was nonsense. After several entrepreneurs told him they owed their success in part to giving so much away, Brooks set out to prove them wrong. His findings put him to shame 174321-Winter 2008_selected-pages-1instead.

“I expected to find that when people got rich they gave more but that when they gave more they didn’t necessarily get richer,” said Brooks. “What I learned . . . is that when people get richer in income, they give away more money to charity, and that when people give charitably they also get richer.”

To sum it up, the more we give, the more money we have—and the happier we are.

Now that our students, faculty, staff, and alumni have put in over 25,000 hours of service, the giving endorphins are certainly flowing. Regardless of money, Brooks makes a powerful case for the spirit to serve. Spend this Throwback Thursday checking out the rest of his speech, “The Privilege of Giving,” in the Winter 2008 issue of Marriott Alumni Magazine