Charity is important for giving organizations the money the need to have an impact. While government funding can help, many charities rely on donations from individuals and organizations. Charity also has a number of mental health benefits.
While governments play a role in providing support to people who need assistance, government funding sometimes lacks the precision needed to support all who need help. In addition, governments are typically slow to respond, and people who need help in the short term are often left without help. Local charities and local chapters of larger charities can often step in to be of aid.
Many governments are unable to support certain types of charities. Religious-based organizations, in particular, often cannot rely on government support. Charitable donations allow these groups to get the funding they need to succeed and grow, and many of these charities have a number of secular benefits.
Studies have also shown that charity is linked to better measures of mental health. Even though few of those who donate to charity ever see exactly where their money went, the act of giving itself can led to happiness and satisfaction. While most people in the United States give through their religious organizations, studies have shown that donations to secular organizations have benefits as well.