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10 Reasons to Support a Good Cause

There are many reasons why you should make a donation, but here are the top 10 reasons sourced from 'The Life You Can Save', an advocacy and educational outreach organisation, aiming to raise awareness for the more than one billion men, women, and children who live in extreme poverty.

1. Even small donations have an impact. The scale of poverty is immense and we seem powerless to stop it. While poverty is indeed extreme and widespread, it is easy to forget just how many people there are in the developed world, and how powerful our pocket change can become when pooled together. When giving to an effective charity, the size of your donation directly correlates with the number of people you are able to help.

2. Giving benefits the world's neediest people. While this fundraiser is specifically for the Oaktree Foundation, there are hundreds of non-profits that you can choose to give to.

3. Poverty can be solved. Effective interventions can break the cycle of poverty for the world's neediest people. Preventing and fighting diseases can keep children healthy and in school. Effective healthcare allows parents to continue supporting their families when they might otherwise have to care for sick children or themselves be disabled by debilitating illness. Aid provides those living in extreme poverty with the essential resources necessary to attain a better standard of living.

4. We have the financial resources to combat poverty. How much money per year would we need to meet the most basic health and nutritional requirements of the world's neediest people? $28 billion. How much money does the world spend on ice cream each year? $59 billion. There is enough money in the developed world to easily meet the most basic needs of the world's poorest people, many times over.

5. Giving makes us happier. Research has shown that spending money on ourselves does not significantly increase our sense of happiness or well-being. A Harvard Business School study suggests that giving to others is directly correlated with an increased sense of happiness.

6. Giving brings us closer to creating the world we would want to live in. The 2.4 billion of us living on less than $2 a day account for roughly 34% of the human population. Even though all of us would like to think that our sense of well-being, political freedom, and personal accomplishments are the results of our own efforts, we know that none of these realities are possible without certain essential material conditions: food, clean water, shelter, basic healthcare, and political stability. Are you comfortable living in a world where there is more than a 33% chance that a newborn child will live on less than $2 a day without access to some of these necessities?

7. Giving works. The fact that extreme poverty still exists causes many people to claim that development aid isn't working. In fact, effective aid efforts have been repeatedly proven to reduce death rates and suffering in developing countries.

8. Giving is a question of justice. For people born in a developing country, the chances that their hard work will pay off are greatly diminished. They may not be able to work due to an illness for which they can't afford the treatment, there may not be any work available, they may not have the education required for a job that pays a living wage – the list goes on. Mere daily survival is all-encompassing. This means that people in developing countries are very often at an unfair disadvantage compared to others around the world. Children have no say over where they live or whether they receive an education. Struggling families may take their children out of school so they may contribute more immediately to the family income. This contributes to a cycle of poverty that traps people who may be extraordinarily smart and hard-working, yet beholden to circumstances over which they have no control.

9. Giving is in our nature. Have you ever felt compelled to help someone – a gut reaction as you witnessed a struggle and recognised that you were capable of support? Whether it is a person stumbling on the street or falling on hard times because of illness, whether it is someone close to us or a complete stranger – our first impulse is to help.

10. Giving is tax-deductible. Your gift to an organisation with a qualified non-profit status might entitle you to a tax deduction.

Written by Christine Vu, a Live Below the Line participant.

Help end poverty by donating to Live Below the Line, an Oaktree campaign.