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Faith-based service impacts future of volunteers

Published: Sunday, Nov. 17 2013 5:00 a.m. MST

That comes as no surprise to Scott Marsh, a financial planner who also teaches the subject as an adjunct professor at Brigham Young University. He said he advises students to put "fingerprints" of volunteer service on their resumes to show prospective employers they have core values that are broader than those of the average person.

"I can't tell you how critical that is for your prosperity, your growth and your future," Marsh said, "to have a period of time to set into motion a completeness and a vision of what (life) all means."

He cited research by social scientist and economist Arthur Brooks, who set out to prove that those who donate money first had to have the resources to do it. He found that was true, but he also discovered those who didn't have the money were just as generous.

Hoping to find some answers as to why someone with little means would be compelled to donate, he ran his findings by a colleague who specialized in the psychology of charitable giving. The friend told him that people are happier when they give of their time or money to causes they believe in.

"It turns out that the data on happiness and charitable giving are beyond dispute," Brooks told an audience at BYU in 2009. "People who give to charity are 43 percent more likely than people who don’t give to say they’re very happy people. People who give blood are twice as likely to say they’re very happy people as people who don’t give blood. People who volunteer are happier. The list goes on. You simply can’t find any kind of service that won’t make you happier."

Email: mbrown@deseretnews.com

Twitter: @deseretbrown

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