Forms of Generosity

In this book we focus on nine specific forms of generosity, all of which were done freely to enhance the well-being of others. Of these nine forms, our research has found that three are most prominent:

  • • Giving money: donating to charitable causes
  • • Giving time: volunteering for charitable causes
  • • Giving action: taking political action for charitable causes

We call these the “Big 3,” and they represent the primary focus of the charitable activities we discuss. In addition to the Big 3 we also provide some investigations of six other forms:

  • • Giving blood: donating blood to aid in the medical welfare of others
  • • Giving organs: donating bodily organs to aid in the medical welfare of others
  • • Giving property: willing estates to charitable causes
  • • Lending possessions: lending possessions to friends, family, and neighbors
  • • Giving sustainability: contributing efforts to care for environmental resources
  • • Giving attention: engaging with friends, family, and neighbors

While these additional six forms are less prominent than the Big 3, we consider them a part of the generosity picture.

Looking at all nine forms of generosity in one book is unique to the SciGen Initiative. With these various forms side by side, we can comprehensively account for the giving behaviors of Americans. We can identify who gives nothing, who gives some, who gives much, and who gives what to others.

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