Take a bow Kiwis - you're a generous lot.
As noted today in Jane Phare's feature article on our biggest benefactors, New Zealand is ranked the third most generous country in the world on the latest CAF (Charities Aid Foundation) World Giving Index, just half a per cent behind Australia with Indonesia at the top.
The ranking is based on three components — donating to charities, volunteering time and helping strangers.
Last year Kiwis gave away $3.5b in donations and spent thousands of hours doing volunteer work. Philanthropy NZ chief executive Sue McCabe thinks Kiwis are generous by nature and will always respond to need. "I do believe in the goodness of people, that people will give if you can find the right thing for them."
Harvard Business School professor Michael Norton and two colleagues from the University of British Columbia found in 2008 that "spending money on others promotes happiness".
"Our findings suggest that very minor alterations in spending allocations — as little as $5 in our final study — may be sufficient to produce non-trivial gains in happiness on a given day."
Norton later noted people may believe that having more money leads to happiness but the research suggests this is only the case if at least some of that money is given to others.
Whether you're New Zealand's richest person or - like most of us - just getting by some weeks at a stretch, we can all give something. Give yourself a pat on the back while you're at it.