Author Topic: Do you volunteer or give to charity?  (Read 15153 times)

enpower

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Do you volunteer or give to charity?
« on: September 28, 2014, 06:02:09 PM »
This could be time or money or both.

If you do, why?

If you don't, why not?


frizzywhiskers

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Re: Do you volunteer or give to charity?
« Reply #1 on: September 28, 2014, 06:09:23 PM »
I volunteer once a week with a local animal rescue group.  Time mostly but occasionally money.  Why?  Because I love animals and love being able to help them!

KBecks2

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Re: Do you volunteer or give to charity?
« Reply #2 on: September 28, 2014, 06:47:50 PM »
We give regularly to our church and then sporadically to other causes.  I participate in local fundraisers frequently for community groups. 

Our percent of giving is not that high, however, and I think we could do more intentional giving and that would be good.

MMMers seem to dismiss charitable giving, and I think that is one of the only negatives of this community.  It is wonderful to be able to give to people and to be less self-centered.  I would like to improve in this area specifically.

Right now our main debt is our mortgage.  Giving would take away from our savings rate, but as MMM says we are so rich and have so much luxury in our lives.  We can afford to be generous to other people and to noble causes. 

windypig

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Re: Do you volunteer or give to charity?
« Reply #3 on: September 28, 2014, 07:03:54 PM »
I give $25/month to children international.

I agreed to do it pre-mustache and now my mustache isnt strong enough to cancel.


enpower

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Re: Do you volunteer or give to charity?
« Reply #4 on: September 28, 2014, 07:05:58 PM »
MMMers seem to dismiss charitable giving

Before or after they reach financial independence?

I see why people (myself included) don't want to give money to charity before financial goals are reached. I figure once I'm not longer fully reliant on wages from a job and have all the free time I want, then I can really devote my time to something that would be worthwhile. I would only ever volunteer my time, I would not give any money away.

However, I do come from a capitalist type mentality and don't particularly like giving handouts to people as general rule.

enpower

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Re: Do you volunteer or give to charity?
« Reply #5 on: September 28, 2014, 07:08:45 PM »
I give $25/month to children international.

I agreed to do it pre-mustache and now my mustache isnt strong enough to cancel.

Having an automatic payment for it must reduce the happiness you get by giving it away.

Wouldn't you get more satisfaction by giving the $25 cash each month to perhaps giving a child a new book, a trip to the zoo, etc personally rather than through a large corporation.

windypig

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Re: Do you volunteer or give to charity?
« Reply #6 on: September 28, 2014, 07:29:40 PM »
I give $25/month to children international.

I agreed to do it pre-mustache and now my mustache isnt strong enough to cancel.

Having an automatic payment for it must reduce the happiness you get by giving it away.

Wouldn't you get more satisfaction by giving the $25 cash each month to perhaps giving a child a new book, a trip to the zoo, etc personally rather than through a large corporation.

Yes, Yes it does. However, from an effective alruists perspective the amount of good done through Children International is greater than me giving a book to a child in my rich country. Its not about how it makes me feel, rather, the amount of good achieved per dollar spent.

CommonCents

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Re: Do you volunteer or give to charity?
« Reply #7 on: September 28, 2014, 07:35:40 PM »
I give $25/month to children international.

I agreed to do it pre-mustache and now my mustache isnt strong enough to cancel.

Having an automatic payment for it must reduce the happiness you get by giving it away.

Wouldn't you get more satisfaction by giving the $25 cash each month to perhaps giving a child a new book, a trip to the zoo, etc personally rather than through a large corporation.

Giving through a large corporation (such as for clean water) may have a more global impact than giving a local child a book (that they could get from the library for free...).  I think exploring the idea of charity with MMM principles is great, I just don't like to see people discouraging giving when someone doesn't give the way they think is best - whether that's locally, or clean water over arts, etc.  Support and encourage all forms of charitable endeavors!

For me - yes.  I give both time & money for causes I find worthy.  For me, this tends to be local organizations, supporting education (including my alma maters, and teaching kids/disabled STEM through activities like sailing), health care (including planned parenthood when I lived in a state with very tight laws on pregnancy termination), hunger/water (this is my main international focus), and women or children's organizations (e.g. a women's shelter).  DH would also support research.  I take some of these descriptors loosely though, as you can see above.  I give for many reasons.  I give because I think the organization does good work that I believe in.  I give because I've made a commitment (e.g. I am President of a local nonprofit, with the expectation I'll donate).  I give to help the organization (e.g. to my college to increase participation rates).  I give because I feel I ought to give back to those who don't have as much as me.  I give to support friends (e.g. running the Boston marathon).  I give to set an example and encourage others to give.

I suggest people cut back on charitable gifts if they have massive amounts of high interest debt.  (Low debt from mortgage, student loans, etc yes, but not if they are paying 20% credit card interest rates.  Give time instead then.)

Astatine

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Re: Do you volunteer or give to charity?
« Reply #8 on: September 28, 2014, 07:43:11 PM »
Hubby donates $50 a month to Red Cross. I usually chuck some change into charity jars at shops and occasionally donate $50 here and there to particular charities. I also try to buy some gifts from the Oxfam shops.

I donate a lot of stuff in-kind (we don't get any tax deductions here for donating items). I've donated many many many boxes of books, CDs and DVDs to Lifeline book fairs over the years. A lot of clothes and kitchen stuff to charity op shops. I've also given heaps of stuff away to freecycle (I occasionally offer stuff to friends but most of them have the same problem as me of Too Much Stuff). I buy clothes and other items from charity op shops.

But, in general, we don't throw a lot of money at charities. When we're in a bit more of a financially robust position (we're both at risk of losing our jobs over the next few years, plus my health is a bit erratic), we might up the $ donations.

Edit: forgot to include reasoning. I guess we're only 2 years since we paid down hubby's CC debt, and I've had a bunch of hospital admissions in the past few years. I would like to be more generous with $ but want to make sure we're on sound footing first. I'm more than happy giving items away. It's very difficult to sell stuff in my city at the moment compared to 10 years ago (Too Much Stuff everywhere). It also reduces waste if others use my second-hand stuff.
« Last Edit: September 28, 2014, 07:46:10 PM by Astatine »

deborah

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Re: Do you volunteer or give to charity?
« Reply #9 on: September 28, 2014, 07:44:30 PM »
Time - and a lot of it.

Calvawt

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Re: Do you volunteer or give to charity?
« Reply #10 on: September 28, 2014, 08:01:53 PM »
I work for a non-profit, so I already feel involved in that aspect.  I do donate money every month (probably average $50 or so for the year). 

I also just joined the board of directors for another non-profit that is a food pantry/soup kitchen so that I can lend my financial expertise to them (a few hours a month for now).

JGB

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Re: Do you volunteer or give to charity?
« Reply #11 on: September 28, 2014, 09:08:31 PM »
MMMers seem to dismiss charitable giving

Before or after they reach financial independence?

I see why people (myself included) don't want to give money to charity before financial goals are reached. I figure once I'm not longer fully reliant on wages from a job and have all the free time I want, then I can really devote my time to something that would be worthwhile. I would only ever volunteer my time, I would not give any money away.

However, I do come from a capitalist type mentality and don't particularly like giving handouts to people as general rule.
+1

This is my approach and reasoning. After FI, there may come a time that donating money enters the picture, depending on how other things work out (e.g. if we do not need all of the contingencies we are building into the plan or we inherit a lot).

Getting there!

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Re: Do you volunteer or give to charity?
« Reply #12 on: September 28, 2014, 09:27:06 PM »
A few years ago I read an article in a local community paper of how the average person could set up a fund through a community foundation.  I hung on to the article and I kept thinking about the idea of setting up an endowment fund.  A couple of years ago we did just that, and it is one of THE best things I've ever done. Each year a disbursement is made from the fund to an organization of our choosing.  It is one of the highlights of the year to determine which registered charitable organization we feel drawn to each year.  We also included the fund in our will and a portion of our assets will be directed to the fund at some point.  Being run by a community foundation, all the administration aspects are looked after.  Our interactions with all the staff have been excellent.  So other than the initial contribution to set up the fund, we don't donate much on an annual basis.  Volunteer work is also important to us and tomorrow night is the 4th annual gathering of soup makers I've coordinated with a variety of soups going to a women's shelter.  So many worthy organizations, but limited time and resources.

Squirrel away

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Re: Do you volunteer or give to charity?
« Reply #13 on: September 28, 2014, 11:41:10 PM »
I do give a small amount of money each month to two charities. I used to donate a lot more before I was interested in FI to be honest. I do donate goods, clothes etc to charity shops too.

Emg03063

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Re: Do you volunteer or give to charity?
« Reply #14 on: September 29, 2014, 02:31:56 AM »
Time:  http://www.thefullbellyproject.org/  because I get to play engineer there without dealing with any pointy haired managers.  The website isn't current with the project list, but we recently developed a method of recycling hotel soap without the expense of back hauling to a centralized plant and re melting it which is providing employment to victims of sex trafficking who need an economic opportunity to escape their former situations.  More on that here:  http://replanit.tv/2014/08/06/a-year-later-soap-for-hope/ Currently in the works:  turning scrap hotel buffet food into fish and chicken feed via pelletization.

Money:  http://www.populationmedia.org/ because controlling population growth is key to sustainability of humanity on this planet, and they are extremely effective at what they do.
« Last Edit: September 29, 2014, 02:35:29 AM by Emg03063 »

Runningtuff

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Re: Do you volunteer or give to charity?
« Reply #15 on: September 29, 2014, 03:44:45 AM »
I put $40 p/m aside into a donation/giving account, which is more than I 'should' if being hard-nosed given a low income. But I like being able to support friends running for charities etc, or buying supplies to make a big bunch of baking for someone. It makes me happy and promotes a feeling of abundance.

usmarine1975

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Re: Do you volunteer or give to charity?
« Reply #16 on: September 29, 2014, 04:04:13 AM »
We donate time and money. My belief is that 10% is the minimum.  When I was younger and money was a lot tighter, I can remember debating my tithe. The math did not support tithing my bills were more then my income at times. Worked in construction and the late 90s were iffy.  I can honestly say if I tithed my needs were somehow covered.  If I didn't tithe I didn't have enough.  Don't ask me to explain it I can not.  We have an account set up with our tithe money automatically being transferred and our giving comes from there.  Even recently tithing makes all the difference in the world.  What you give and who you give to in my opinion is a private matter.  We try to pick organizations with a good track record and where more of the money goes to those in need rather then to administration. 

I disagree with OP there might be a few MMM followers against charity but its not the majority.

Sarita

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Re: Do you volunteer or give to charity?
« Reply #17 on: September 29, 2014, 05:04:25 AM »
I shifted from corporate to non-profit about 5 years ago.  The organization does work that I deeply believe in and have been interested in my whole life, so the 40% pay cut was absolutely worth it.   Living simply allowed me to do it.

I continue to donate $$ to my own organization (I see how the money is spent and it does good work while minimizing waste).  I also donate to various organizations, usually as a result of being asked by a friend or family member.  I do due diligence and if it's a well-run organization I will donate.  I probably spend 1-2k year on donations.

chasesfish

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Re: Do you volunteer or give to charity?
« Reply #18 on: September 29, 2014, 05:43:30 AM »
I prefer to serve on boards of not for profits, this ultimately leads to giving some money.

I've found I'm more valuable donating my time and understanding of finance than just writing checks.

MrsPete

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Re: Do you volunteer or give to charity?
« Reply #19 on: September 29, 2014, 05:53:46 AM »
Yes and yes. 
It's the right thing to do. 

Each of us has received a great deal from the world, and it's only fair to give back something to help others.  Also, as I look around in my personal life, it seems to me that the people who are "givers" tend to be happier people -- not that it's a cause-and-effect; rather, giving is one personality trait of a happy person.  For example, I have one aunt and uncle who are retired, and every Tuesday they each go their separate ways to work with charities about which they feel strongly.  They seem to be better people because they are involved in these activities.  It's one way of staying actively involved in the community. 
Giving through a large corporation (such as for clean water) may have a more global impact than giving a local child a book (that they could get from the library for free...).
I happen to believe that putting books into kids' hands is one of the best ways to help kids.  Yes, the library is full of books that can be checked out -- and though I was a poor kid, we went to the library every single week.  However, poverty and failing to value books (and education) tend to go hand-in-hand.  Kids who don't have books tend to live in homes where the parents won't think to take them to the library.  Also, for a child, there's something special about owning a book of his or her own.  And it's kind of a "grown up thing" for a child:  I have books.  I am expected to be able to read them.  People see me as capable of reading. As an adult, I don't think we have quite the same reaction. 

MandyM

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Re: Do you volunteer or give to charity?
« Reply #20 on: September 29, 2014, 06:27:50 AM »
I give both, but definitely more time than money. I think if there is a cause you believe in you can and should find a way to support it. It doesn't have to be big dollars or huge time commitment. Find something that works for you. If not, don't point to MMM or capitalism or whatever.

KBecks2

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Re: Do you volunteer or give to charity?
« Reply #21 on: September 29, 2014, 08:19:54 AM »
I happen to believe that putting books into kids' hands is one of the best ways to help kids.  Yes, the library is full of books that can be checked out -- and though I was a poor kid, we went to the library every single week.  However, poverty and failing to value books (and education) tend to go hand-in-hand.  Kids who don't have books tend to live in homes where the parents won't think to take them to the library.  Also, for a child, there's something special about owning a book of his or her own.  And it's kind of a "grown up thing" for a child:  I have books.  I am expected to be able to read them.  People see me as capable of reading. As an adult, I don't think we have quite the same reaction.

I was just listening to a radio program yesterday that featured the group Reach out and Read -- it sounds like a great project.  They give books to families through pediatricians at well-child visits (for the little ones -- younger than Kindergarten age), and encourage the families to spend time together reading. 

http://www.reachoutandread.org

I found the concept very intriguing and I think they are achieving results (haven't had time to look into it deeply.)  Literacy is a gift! 

KBecks2

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Re: Do you volunteer or give to charity?
« Reply #22 on: September 29, 2014, 08:23:16 AM »
It is also very interesting that many people are noting that they give their time.  I would guess that my time is more precious than my money.  But, if the time is spent well and volunteering is a wonderful experience, then that time given is a gift to yourself as well!!  A real win-win. 

retired?

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Re: Do you volunteer or give to charity?
« Reply #23 on: September 29, 2014, 08:26:29 AM »
Donate?  Goods we no longer use or need?  Yes.  Why?  tax deduction and gets rid of clutter.

Money?  Not much, unless a friend is participating in a fund raiser, e.g. bike for MS.  Why?  I basically donate through the federal taxes I pay.  When I look at all the aid provided by the federal govt, I conclude that I have already given.

Volunteer?  Haven't yet, but with more free time I am considering tutoring kids in math.  Why?  because I like math and may transition to tutoring for $$ and/or becoming an actual math teacher.

Seņora Savings

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Re: Do you volunteer or give to charity?
« Reply #24 on: September 29, 2014, 09:31:18 AM »
A big part of being a Mustachian is efficiency.  So I try to give in the most effective way possible, through large corporations that have some positive data behind them and to people living in extreme poverty.  Peter Singer's The Life You Can Save really influenced my giving, it answers many of the questions about giving without hurting communities (hint: building a well helps everybody, giving away free food shipped in from the USA is not so great for local farmers). 

I give 10% of my income to charity and some more to nonprofits that I benefit from.  I don't consider giving to nonprofits that provide me with services to be charitable giving.

Money?  Not much, unless a friend is participating in a fund raiser, e.g. bike for MS.  Why?  I basically donate through the federal taxes I pay.  When I look at all the aid provided by the federal govt, I conclude that I have already given.

About 0.7% of the US budget goes to foreign aid, and that's the shipping in food from the US type of aid.

http://thehill.com/blogs/congress-blog/foreign-policy/201974-the-top-myths-about-us-foreign-aid

BlueMR2

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Re: Do you volunteer or give to charity?
« Reply #25 on: September 29, 2014, 09:59:31 AM »
I volunteer my time as a radio operator to various local races (of every kind, from marathons, triathlons, to car races, etc).  It's fun and doesn't cost me much to do.

megaschnauzer

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Re: Do you volunteer or give to charity?
« Reply #26 on: September 29, 2014, 10:00:04 AM »
i've done kiva for quite a few years now. it seems reputable and i like the concept of helping people help themselves. i also do the africabike thing once a year. basically you buy a sturdy bike for people in africa to use for business of medical rounds and such. i also contributed to their maintenance program so broken bikes don't get discarded. i really should sign up for habitat for humanity or the local food pantry but...

retired?

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Re: Do you volunteer or give to charity?
« Reply #27 on: September 29, 2014, 10:28:52 AM »
A big part of being a Mustachian is efficiency.  So I try to give in the most effective way possible, through large corporations that have some positive data behind them and to people living in extreme poverty.  Peter Singer's The Life You Can Save really influenced my giving, it answers many of the questions about giving without hurting communities (hint: building a well helps everybody, giving away free food shipped in from the USA is not so great for local farmers). 

I give 10% of my income to charity and some more to nonprofits that I benefit from.  I don't consider giving to nonprofits that provide me with services to be charitable giving.

Money?  Not much, unless a friend is participating in a fund raiser, e.g. bike for MS.  Why?  I basically donate through the federal taxes I pay.  When I look at all the aid provided by the federal govt, I conclude that I have already given.

About 0.7% of the US budget goes to foreign aid, and that's the shipping in food from the US type of aid.

http://thehill.com/blogs/congress-blog/foreign-policy/201974-the-top-myths-about-us-foreign-aid

I was thinking about assistance within the U.S., i.e. food stamps, welfare, etc.  Non-tax status for many entities that have lots of revenues, etc. subsidies to farms.  This link has a good breakdown:

http://www.cbpp.org/cms/?fa=view&id=1258

Safety net programs: About 12 percent of the federal budget in 2013, or $398 billion, supported programs that provide aid (other than health insurance or Social Security benefits) to individuals and families facing hardship.


The Federal budget is about 3.7 Trillion, so 12 percent is 444 Billion.  Someone earning 150k could easily pay 30k in taxes, $3600 of which went to safety net programs.  I don't mind it, except when I hear about people spending it on trips to Hawaii (http://articles.latimes.com/2010/oct/04/local/la-me-welfare-20101004), but it does make me feel like I have already given.

For foreign aid, 0.7% is about 26 Billion...not chump change either.


Seņora Savings

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Re: Do you volunteer or give to charity?
« Reply #28 on: September 29, 2014, 04:08:38 PM »
A big part of being a Mustachian is efficiency.  So I try to give in the most effective way possible, through large corporations that have some positive data behind them and to people living in extreme poverty.  Peter Singer's The Life You Can Save really influenced my giving, it answers many of the questions about giving without hurting communities (hint: building a well helps everybody, giving away free food shipped in from the USA is not so great for local farmers). 

I give 10% of my income to charity and some more to nonprofits that I benefit from.  I don't consider giving to nonprofits that provide me with services to be charitable giving.

Money?  Not much, unless a friend is participating in a fund raiser, e.g. bike for MS.  Why?  I basically donate through the federal taxes I pay.  When I look at all the aid provided by the federal govt, I conclude that I have already given.

About 0.7% of the US budget goes to foreign aid, and that's the shipping in food from the US type of aid.

http://thehill.com/blogs/congress-blog/foreign-policy/201974-the-top-myths-about-us-foreign-aid

I was thinking about assistance within the U.S., i.e. food stamps, welfare, etc.  Non-tax status for many entities that have lots of revenues, etc. subsidies to farms.  This link has a good breakdown:

http://www.cbpp.org/cms/?fa=view&id=1258

Safety net programs: About 12 percent of the federal budget in 2013, or $398 billion, supported programs that provide aid (other than health insurance or Social Security benefits) to individuals and families facing hardship.


The Federal budget is about 3.7 Trillion, so 12 percent is 444 Billion.  Someone earning 150k could easily pay 30k in taxes, $3600 of which went to safety net programs.  I don't mind it, except when I hear about people spending it on trips to Hawaii (http://articles.latimes.com/2010/oct/04/local/la-me-welfare-20101004), but it does make me feel like I have already given.

For foreign aid, 0.7% is about 26 Billion...not chump change either.

That's $210 from our $150,000 a year earner. 

I think that US aid money is given out in inefficient ways.  A lot of good can be done by donating overseas to improve the lives of people living on under $1.25 per day.  There are many charities that create renewable resources in communities (clean water, education on health and birth control) in a way that improves peoples lives for generations.  If you choose not to help these people, that's one thing, but I don't think that you can say you're already helping them.

Zikoris

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Re: Do you volunteer or give to charity?
« Reply #29 on: September 29, 2014, 04:20:26 PM »
I volunteer quite a bit for my housing co-operative - board of directors, executive board, finance committee, and random jobs like getting refreshments for our big annual membership meetings, or signing cheques. My boyfriend also volunteers for things like unit inspections and interviewing potential members.

Right now we don't donate money to any charities. In the past I've given to environmental groups like the World Wildlife Foundation or Greenpeace, but I always found that I seemed to end up on a "sucker list" and get pestered by every charity under the sun afterwards.

Eric

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Re: Do you volunteer or give to charity?
« Reply #30 on: September 29, 2014, 04:46:17 PM »
Right now we don't donate money to any charities. In the past I've given to environmental groups like the World Wildlife Foundation or Greenpeace, but I always found that I seemed to end up on a "sucker list" and get pestered by every charity under the sun afterwards.

This is my biggest hangup.  It's seemingly impossible to get removed too.  If you can get removed from one, you're added to two others.  The amount of junk mail waste that I've gotten from JDRF since I made a donation after Ron Santo died probably covers my whole donation by now.  Okay, probably not, but it sure seems like it.  Plus every other charity that they sold my info to.  It's pretty discouraging to me.

Edit -- Oops, had the initials of JDRF wrong (Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation)
« Last Edit: September 29, 2014, 04:50:27 PM by Eric »

Rein1987

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Re: Do you volunteer or give to charity?
« Reply #31 on: September 29, 2014, 04:47:59 PM »
I think tithe is a good practice for my family, both to get blessed and to bless others.

When I first made about $1400 a month as a graduate student, I sometimes feel it's very difficult put aside $140 a month and use the rest to making all livings and savings. But I'm really glad I made it. Tithe taught me how to be frugal. During that period, I knew how to make budget and not waste any extra cent. I successfully paid off my first car (a used car with 28k miles at $7500), and saved about 20k when I graduated.

After graduation, when I could earn 6 digits salary, 10% becomes a significant amount of money, more than I used to spend in a whole year. Sometimes I imagine if I save that 10%, what my life will be. Tithe taught me how to be generous. I'm not in a very small world just fighting for increase number of my account. Rather, I have more choices to contribute to the society or help people. I also found my soul mate who is also frugal to himself but generous towards church or friends. Yes, I also feel strongly blessed, much happier than saving extra 10%. Actually, I plan to save 80k this year for my family, and donate 20k. but yesterday I found that I have already saved 100k and donated 18k. In other words, I donated the money but I still achieved more than I planned.

With time, maybe an average of 20 hours a month at local community or church.

 

KBecks2

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Re: Do you volunteer or give to charity?
« Reply #32 on: September 29, 2014, 05:34:51 PM »
I think tithe is a good practice for my family, both to get blessed and to bless others.

When I first made about $1400 a month as a graduate student, I sometimes feel it's very difficult put aside $140 a month and use the rest to making all livings and savings. But I'm really glad I made it. Tithe taught me how to be frugal. During that period, I knew how to make budget and not waste any extra cent. I successfully paid off my first car (a used car with 28k miles at $7500), and saved about 20k when I graduated.

After graduation, when I could earn 6 digits salary, 10% becomes a significant amount of money, more than I used to spend in a whole year. Sometimes I imagine if I save that 10%, what my life will be. Tithe taught me how to be generous. I'm not in a very small world just fighting for increase number of my account. Rather, I have more choices to contribute to the society or help people. I also found my soul mate who is also frugal to himself but generous towards church or friends. Yes, I also feel strongly blessed, much happier than saving extra 10%. Actually, I plan to save 80k this year for my family, and donate 20k. but yesterday I found that I have already saved 100k and donated 18k. In other words, I donated the money but I still achieved more than I planned.

With time, maybe an average of 20 hours a month at local community or church.

You inspire me.  :)

coffeehound

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Re: Do you volunteer or give to charity?
« Reply #33 on: September 29, 2014, 06:07:11 PM »
Right now we don't donate money to any charities. In the past I've given to environmental groups like the World Wildlife Foundation or Greenpeace, but I always found that I seemed to end up on a "sucker list" and get pestered by every charity under the sun afterwards.

This is my biggest hangup.  It's seemingly impossible to get removed too.  If you can get removed from one, you're added to two others.  The amount of junk mail waste that I've gotten from JDRF since I made a donation after Ron Santo died probably covers my whole donation by now.  Okay, probably not, but it sure seems like it.  Plus every other charity that they sold my info to.  It's pretty discouraging to me.

Edit -- Oops, had the initials of JDRF wrong (Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation)

So, I work in fundraising - and here is the deal:  Once you've given, the belief is that it's easier to get you to give again than to get a stranger to give.

Easy way to stop the deluge??  CALL THE CHARITY.  Say, "please add a do not solicit note to my record in your database." 

I don't know of charities that sell mailing lists, but I don't work with direct-service agencies - I'm in education.  So I'm not familiar with charities selling names and addresses.  What I am familiar with, however, is reading 'donor honor rolls' from other, similar charities, to find potential donors for programs/projects similar to ours.

And I give - to the university where I work (pretax) and monthly to the public radio station that I listen to every.single.day.  Oh, and I answer phones during said radio station's pledge drives.

Zikoris

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Re: Do you volunteer or give to charity?
« Reply #34 on: September 29, 2014, 06:27:59 PM »
Right now we don't donate money to any charities. In the past I've given to environmental groups like the World Wildlife Foundation or Greenpeace, but I always found that I seemed to end up on a "sucker list" and get pestered by every charity under the sun afterwards.

This is my biggest hangup.  It's seemingly impossible to get removed too.  If you can get removed from one, you're added to two others.  The amount of junk mail waste that I've gotten from JDRF since I made a donation after Ron Santo died probably covers my whole donation by now.  Okay, probably not, but it sure seems like it.  Plus every other charity that they sold my info to.  It's pretty discouraging to me.

Edit -- Oops, had the initials of JDRF wrong (Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation)

So, I work in fundraising - and here is the deal:  Once you've given, the belief is that it's easier to get you to give again than to get a stranger to give.

Easy way to stop the deluge??  CALL THE CHARITY.  Say, "please add a do not solicit note to my record in your database." 

I don't know of charities that sell mailing lists, but I don't work with direct-service agencies - I'm in education.  So I'm not familiar with charities selling names and addresses.  What I am familiar with, however, is reading 'donor honor rolls' from other, similar charities, to find potential donors for programs/projects similar to ours.

And I give - to the university where I work (pretax) and monthly to the public radio station that I listen to every.single.day.  Oh, and I answer phones during said radio station's pledge drives.

I think the ones in Canada must sell the lists - every place that contacted me was something completely different. Everything from cancer and wig stuff to human rights, childrens camps, and firefighters something-or-other. I've finally gotten off the phone lists, luckily!

tracylayton

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Re: Do you volunteer or give to charity?
« Reply #35 on: September 29, 2014, 06:41:30 PM »
Both! I volunteer at the Senior Citizen Center (because I might be one some day) and the Homeless Shelter. I also donate to my church and a Nonprofit in Africa, because I can sponsor several elementary students and their education.

Spartana

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Re: Do you volunteer or give to charity?
« Reply #36 on: September 29, 2014, 06:50:23 PM »
I volunteer time more so then money since I'm no longer working.

RFAAOATB

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Re: Do you volunteer or give to charity?
« Reply #37 on: September 29, 2014, 06:58:12 PM »
For those that donate money, does the tax deduction figure prominently in your calculations for whether to donate?

I am of the belief that charitable giving (of which I do very little) is dishonest and unpatriotic when used as a tax deduction.

It was explained to me before that tax deductions exist to get people to donate more for their earmarked causes than the government can support through collecting all it can in the general fund, but I forgot and did not understand the particulars.  If any of you can explain how charitable deductions increase contributions more than higher taxation, please let us know.

Who provides for your everyone's safety and well being?  The government via our taxes and our politicians.  At its best, the government should allocate resources in the most beneficial way.  Unfortunately that may not be the reality, but it is up to us to change that.

tracylayton

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Re: Do you volunteer or give to charity?
« Reply #38 on: September 29, 2014, 07:00:46 PM »
The tax deduction figures in very little. I do take the deduction (because I can), but would make the donation anyhow.

TreeTired

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Re: Do you volunteer or give to charity?
« Reply #39 on: September 29, 2014, 07:10:58 PM »
When I was working I donated money to charities.  We used to write a bunch of small checks, then decided to write fewer, but bigger checks and focus on local charities.  Now that we are not working I do a lot of volunteer work and much less financial donation.    I spend a lot of time doing various volunteer work.  We recently donated some appreciated stock to one of the charities we were helping out with, but as I said, that is a bit unusual now.

zinnie

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Re: Do you volunteer or give to charity?
« Reply #40 on: September 29, 2014, 07:46:24 PM »
I have more money than time right now, so--I donate to charity. Doctors without Borders, United Way, and KPBS on a monthly basis currently. Various others a few more times a year as well.

I think it's important--I have enough money to shovel tons into investments every month, so it seems only right to give to worthier causes as well.

Snow White

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Re: Do you volunteer or give to charity?
« Reply #41 on: September 29, 2014, 08:37:24 PM »
Both money and time.  We give money primarily to organizations that protect wildlife and wildlife habitats (Nature Conservancy, Audubon, Sierra Club and local organizations with similar missions.  My husband does a lot of volunteer work with some of the above.  I assist the organization and also make quilts and crocheted blankets for Project Linus.

Why?  We fear a future without wild spaces and wild animals and consider ourselves stewards of the earth.  The quilts and blankets because some kids have so little or have been through such trauma or abuse that a comforting blanket of their own can mean a lot to them. 

southern granny

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Re: Do you volunteer or give to charity?
« Reply #42 on: September 29, 2014, 08:47:19 PM »
I do both.  The reason?  Because I am blessed with good health and a steady income and so many others are not.  I want to help where I can.  I volunteer once a week at a soup kitchen, and I give to several charities.

Villanelle

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Re: Do you volunteer or give to charity?
« Reply #43 on: September 29, 2014, 09:20:06 PM »
Yes.  In part it is because there are changes I'd like to see, and giving my time and money is one of the most direct ways to do that.

When I volunteer my time, it is also because I don't work due to living overseas, and I hate that.  So it is something to not only fill the time, but to give me a sense of achievement and fulfillment that I don't get from being a HouseFrau.

When we give money, the tax deduction has very little to do with it.  However, there have been a few times where I donated goods and the taxes might have been a deciding factor.  Otherwise, I might have just posted a "come and get all this stuff" on freecycle, and been done with it.  Arranging to have an organization come in and pack up and haul off the majority of the good from a household was more of a pain than I'd imagined.  It would have been easier to have a "come get any or all of these items between the hours of X and Y".

Nyarlathotep

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Re: Do you volunteer or give to charity?
« Reply #44 on: September 29, 2014, 11:01:07 PM »
i've done kiva for quite a few years now. it seems reputable and i like the concept of helping people help themselves. i also do the africabike thing once a year. basically you buy a sturdy bike for people in africa to use for business of medical rounds and such. i also contributed to their maintenance program so broken bikes don't get discarded. i really should sign up for habitat for humanity or the local food pantry but...

I have done the Habitat for Humanity thing and it is pretty worth while. It was pretty interesting and it allowed you to learn a thing or two about construction in the process.

The Kiva thing seems pretty interesting I may have to give it a go.

usmarine1975

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Re: Do you volunteer or give to charity?
« Reply #45 on: September 30, 2014, 02:13:39 AM »
Charitable giving is far from um patriotic. IMHO true patriots would rather volunteer their money then have it forcefully taken in the form of taxes.  The government scope is to be limited.  Government is also the least efficient.  Web sites exist to tell you which organizations do the best at funneling the most of your donation to the cause compared to most going to administration.  I give to give and I take the tax exemption because its there and paying less taxes is good.  I also do not plan to become a ward of the state nor do I plan on having Social security. 

I always get a kick out of the individuals that feel they or others are not taxed enough. Last I knew the United States Government will take donations. If you feel you should pay more taxes why does it need to be taken by force just take out a check and donate it.  I also find it interesting to look at which politicians donate money.  Usually those wanting to raise taxes donate the least.

retired?

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Re: Do you volunteer or give to charity?
« Reply #46 on: September 30, 2014, 09:44:15 AM »
Again, I wasn't speaking of international aid.  12% of the total budget is for safety net programs.  That's $3600 for someone who pays 30k in taxes (the 150k earner).  I don't mind, but I don't ignore that I have, in effect, already given a certain amount.

As someone else said, the govt is incredibly inefficient.  Great quote - My brother-in-law recently retired as a commander in the Army.  He just started working for a shipping company doing something similar to his work in the Army.  Was visiting and we were discussing his new job.  Quote "The main thing I have to get used to is paying attention to pricing, in the Army no one pays attention to price".

Giving to charity, in any form, is a personal decision.  Just explaining my reasons as requested by the OP.

RFAAOATB

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Re: Do you volunteer or give to charity?
« Reply #47 on: September 30, 2014, 11:06:13 AM »
Charitable giving is far from um patriotic. IMHO true patriots would rather volunteer their money then have it forcefully taken in the form of taxes.  The government scope is to be limited.  Government is also the least efficient.  Web sites exist to tell you which organizations do the best at funneling the most of your donation to the cause compared to most going to administration.  I give to give and I take the tax exemption because its there and paying less taxes is good.  I also do not plan to become a ward of the state nor do I plan on having Social security. 

I always get a kick out of the individuals that feel they or others are not taxed enough. Last I knew the United States Government will take donations. If you feel you should pay more taxes why does it need to be taken by force just take out a check and donate it.  I also find it interesting to look at which politicians donate money.  Usually those wanting to raise taxes donate the least.

Is this a tragedy of the commons situation?  I don't want to pay more taxes than legally required to because I like control of my money.  Looking around and seeing infrastructure neglect, poverty, and safety net cuts I may believe that more tax revenues are necessary.  Thus I will accept giving up more of my money with the knowledge that everyone else is as well.

Ideally I would like the government to put a lot of charities out of business.  The local soup kitchen closes because SNAP is sufficient to feed everyone.  Habitat for Humanity is no more because public works has built sufficient housing and government backed non predatory loans get people inside.  Scientists and Researchers are funded to the point that they do not need that many charity walks for donations.

The big taxes for charities debate usually happens when deciding how much of your estate to give to charity.  To have half your thinking on what charities to support and the other half on minimizing your tax burden is putting blinders on to this country's support structure that allowed you to amass your fortune would be more stable with your revenue.

Obviously the government must be a good steward of our money, something a lot of people can argue about.  Deservedly or not there is a level of distrust there and solving it through better government is one of the big problems us smart people should be putting our brain power towards when we no longer need most of it for employment.

usmarine1975

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Re: Do you volunteer or give to charity?
« Reply #48 on: September 30, 2014, 11:14:52 AM »
The founding fathers believed Government to be a necessary evil and felt that the people should be left to manage their own affairs. I want less taxes and smaller government. I prefer the gov not manage my affairs.

Some feel Gov should manage all aspects of life. I simply disagree. If you want to give more money to the Gov you are free to open your check book and send a check but I don't want you writing checks for me I can and do so very well on my own. I do not donate for the deduction. But because I donate I take the deduction.  I also write off my mortgage interest and any other allowable deduction. You don't have to take them if you don't want too.

Self management is the American way.

davisgang90

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Re: Do you volunteer or give to charity?
« Reply #49 on: September 30, 2014, 12:41:36 PM »
Volunteer time at my church as a Sunday School teacher.  I also have tutored some inner-city kids in DC.  We give to our church, Compassion International (we sponsor a child) and to various charities through the Combined Federal Campaign (Jill's House (an overnight respite center for special needs kids), Mission Aviation Fellowship (provides aviation support to various missionary organizations) and various Autism and/or Cancer groups).

We certainly don't do it for the tax deduction.