“What goes around comes around… You get what you give… You reap what you sow.” There’s a reason we have so many poetic ways of expressing the same thought. Plain and simple, it’s our moral and ethical responsibility to humanity to help those who are less fortunate than we are.

There are so many ways you can make a contribution. The key is to pick something that you personally feel passionate about, something that touches you on an emotional level. For some, it is a cause related to research on a specific disease; for others, it’s a local project that has an impact on some aspect of their own community. For some it will be contributing to a cause centered on children, while for others it may be getting involved with environmental issues or large-scale world issues. There is no end to the number of ways you can be involved, nor to the diversity of organizations who need support.

It is also true, as many worthy organizations point out, that “no contribution is too small.” It’s so easy to think, “No one will notice if I don’t participate…besides, how much impact would my little donation really make?” But as network marketers, we know better. We know the impact of a lot of people, each doing a little! Every little bit truly does count. It does make a difference—in fact, it makes all the difference.

The film Pay It Forward was extremely popular with network marketers, and with good reason: it beautifully illustrated the principle that contribution is not about obligation. It’s not about “giving back,” as if you’re repaying a debt. It’s about paying forward—it’s a voluntary act of pure giving, not settling a bill. And the film vividly showed how one good deed can multiply and snowball into thousands of good deeds.

The beautiful part about making a contribution is that it is contagious. Just as in our networking businesses, people around us will do as we do; our efforts, for better or worse, become duplicated. You can see this happen with your friends. When you participate in a philanthropic endeavor, chances are good that your friends participate along with you. They see you making a contribution, and they want to make one as well.

Perhaps the greatest indirect impact you have—and this may be one of the most compelling reasons it is so gratifying and valuable to make a contribution—is that your children will see you do it, too. And what happens as a result? They come to view this sort of giving as normal, as just the way things are supposed to be. As they grow up, this becomes a natural part of who they are.

LAURA KALL is a faculty member of Networking University
and a second-generation network marketer and highly regarded
leader in the profession; she was profiled in our February 2002 issue.