The Entrepreneurial Mind had an inspiring post on Giving in the Entrepreneurial Culture. He cites Dr. Arthur Brooks of Syracuse University and author of Who Really Cares: The Surprising Truth About Compassionate Conservatism.
He (Dr. Brooks) summarized his findings by dispelling the four common myths about giving:
Myth #1: Giving makes us poorer
Giving is not the zero sum that so many assume. Those who give become richer over time.
Myth #2: People are naturally selfish
As mentioned above, we seem to be hard-wired to give. It is not natural for humans to be selfish. Rather, it is natural to give to others.
Myth #3: Giving is a luxury
The working poor give the highest percentage of their income of all income brackets. Second come the rich. The stingiest are the upper middle class.
Myth #4: An entrepreneurial nation can afford to forgo service
In fact service is part of what seems to have built our entrepreneurial culture and economy.