Money Can Buy Happiness

Photo by ^@^ina (Irina Patrascu)

A colleague recently sent this video from Michael Norton’s TEDxCambridge talk whether or not people can buy happiness. See what Michael had to say.

It’s interesting to see that people were happier when they were social with their money, and that wasn’t about the amount of money they spent, just the fact that they spent it on others. It’s also interesting to see that the cause for which they’re giving the money is just as important as the fact that they’re giving the money to someone.

But really, this shouldn’t be all that surprising. As nonprofits, you have people—whether they’re staff or donors—that are passionate about your cause and are happy to be serving it. The key is giving them the opportunity to see that they are helping others.

This is the key element we sometimes need to be reminded of; the good work nonprofits do are in one way or another helping people. These are people we try to reach, to either help or involve. And people communicate, which is why nonprofits need to communicate like people.


Social media is a way for nonprofits to reconnect with those people, develop “real life human” relationships that go beyond the type on the screen. So in everything your nonprofit does, such as in storytelling or fundraising, be sure to keep that human element alive.