The Good News We Need (Found Through Human Experimentation)

It is an age-old question: “What to get for the woman/man who has everything?”

A clue to the answer can be found in the question itself.  After all, this person already has every “thing” and wants for nothing (no “thing”).  The best gift could not be a “thing” at all. So how could I give something more meaningful than a thing?  Could I give someone an experience? Could I give them a feeling?

When we opened our doors to the public to invest with us, we did so by sharing a message about what we believe.  One foundational pillar of the business has always been the concept of generosity. We give to our community. Our investors give to churches and charities.  Our non-profit institutional clients exist to give.

The answer became obvious.  The most meaningful gift would be the opportunity to give.  After all, who couldn’t use some more generosity in their life?  Whose day couldn’t be made better by experiencing a little more gratitude?

About two months ago, I decided to conduct an experiment.  I sent this letter to every Upleft private client. Enclosed with each letter were two identical gift cards.  One was to keep and one was to give away. All I asked in return was a little feedback on the experiences of those who received the letter.  The responses that I received blew me away!

The majority of clients’ reports indicated that they gave away both gift cards and didn’t keep anything for themselves.  Not only that but, several clients added their own resources to give away more in value than the $20 they received.  A few clients used the funds to provide meals for their coworkers and employees. Some clients took the opportunity to make donations to local charities.  One client sought out the opportunity to provide meals to some of the less fortunate members of our community.  

What was I able to conclude from this experiment?  I am still processing the results, but for now, I can confidently say that I learned this:

Give good people the tools to do good things and they can surprise you in wonderful ways.

Related: When Is It Time for an Investor to Move on From Their Advisor?