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Learning, Sharing, and Teaching => Ask a Mustachian => Topic started by: HeadedWest2029 on November 18, 2016, 11:59:20 AM

Title: POLL: Percentage of gross income donated to charity
Post by: HeadedWest2029 on November 18, 2016, 11:59:20 AM
I've seen lots of threads discussing charitable donations and how it relates to mustachianism.  Would love to see how this breaks out statistically
Title: Re: POLL: Percentage of gross income donated to charity
Post by: sol on November 18, 2016, 12:03:06 PM
Oooh boy, this is going to be ugly.
Title: Re: POLL: Percentage of gross income donated to charity
Post by: wenchsenior on November 18, 2016, 12:23:23 PM
Yup. These threads always seem to degenerate depressingly.
Title: Re: POLL: Percentage of gross income donated to charity
Post by: boarder42 on November 18, 2016, 12:25:00 PM
my opinion is you can make a much larger impact setting up large endowments for scholarships etc. towards the end of your life that will conitinue to pay out using something similar to a 4% rule on the money allocated for that purpose.  that being said i do make some donations throughout the year to various orgs. -
Title: Re: POLL: Percentage of gross income donated to charity
Post by: tweezers on November 18, 2016, 12:26:32 PM
We donate close to 10%, but not through tithing (we're not religious). 
Title: Re: POLL: Percentage of gross income donated to charity
Post by: HeadedWest2029 on November 18, 2016, 12:46:33 PM
This is one of my biggest tensions.  I grew up in a religious context so the 10% rule still rattles around in my head pretty strongly.  On the other side, I've become increasingly more frugal and ER is a pretty strong pull, especially since it feels very realistic & inevitable.  I have to admit, I feel a wee bit envious of people who feel no guilt over donating nothing (for logical reasons) and sport a sexy savings rate.  We've gotten to the point where we've trimmed the fat.  Charity is one of the last remaining optional expenses.  Ultimately, I somewhat hedge and tend to give 3-4%
Title: Re: POLL: Percentage of gross income donated to charity
Post by: Sailor Sam on November 18, 2016, 12:58:01 PM
I donate 10% of my net, which works out to 7% of my gross pay.

I also feel some unhappy tension about my giving levels. I feel like I should bump it up to 10% of gross, but the total sum would be ~11k. Eleven thousand dollars! So much money to just hand over. The self interest cog in my brain kicks in to gear, and I justify keeping to 10% of net.
Title: Re: POLL: Percentage of gross income donated to charity
Post by: Davids on November 18, 2016, 01:04:36 PM
I donate blood, they claim it saves lives, that is priceless.
Title: Re: POLL: Percentage of gross income donated to charity
Post by: wenchsenior on November 18, 2016, 01:53:43 PM
I voted 1-3% because that is what we donate to actual technical charities and causes. However, we help support two other family members who would otherwise be relying on federal and state assistance, or charity, so if you count that it is ~10%. Our plan is to keep charitable contributions regular but modest until we are FI, and then scale up if appropriate, and eventually convert our estate to a charitable instrument, should we be so fortunate as to have our money outlast us.
Title: Re: POLL: Percentage of gross income donated to charity
Post by: englishteacheralex on November 18, 2016, 02:15:54 PM
We currently donate 15% of our gross income, and have a goal of scaling up to around 50% as our net worth and income increase and our expenses decrease. As I post every time I see a thread like this, our end goal is radical generosity and not early retirement. I highly recommend this paradigm shift. For the most part, it removes the tension from personal finance.
Title: Re: POLL: Percentage of gross income donated to charity
Post by: MBot on November 18, 2016, 02:18:13 PM
Starts at 11% and goes up to 12-13% some months if we make additional gifts when asked for a good cause
Title: Re: POLL: Percentage of gross income donated to charity
Post by: marielle on November 18, 2016, 02:21:03 PM
I currently volunteer weekly and occasionally make small contributions, but I don't think it accounts for 1%. I only started my career 3 months ago, so this will change as soon as my students loans are paid off in a few more months. Definitely need to do research on organizations to support.
Title: Re: POLL: Percentage of gross income donated to charity
Post by: seattlecyclone on November 18, 2016, 05:32:09 PM
I max out my employer's gift matching program every year. I plan to switch from monetary donations to more volunteering when I retire. Later in life, in the very likely scenario that the 4% rule leaves me with a boatload of extra money, I'll make some bigger gifts at that time.
Title: Re: POLL: Percentage of gross income donated to charity
Post by: icemodeled on November 18, 2016, 05:39:46 PM
We are currently giving just under 10%
Title: Re: POLL: Percentage of gross income donated to charity
Post by: Hotstreak on November 18, 2016, 06:15:19 PM
I give a large amount to charity, something like $50-$100/year.  I chose "nothing" since it matches most closely, what I give is closer to 0% than 1%.  I also volunteer donate blood.
Title: Re: POLL: Percentage of gross income donated to charity
Post by: JAYSLOL on November 18, 2016, 10:28:31 PM
I voted 1-3% because that is what we donate to actual technical charities and causes. However, we help support two other family members who would otherwise be relying on federal and state assistance, or charity, so if you count that it is ~10%. Our plan is to keep charitable contributions regular but modest until we are FI, and then scale up if appropriate, and eventually convert our estate to a charitable instrument, should we be so fortunate as to have our money outlast us.

Same here, I'm at about 5% to charity, but around another 5% supporting family.  We also would like to increase what we give, but after, or at least closer to FI. 
Title: Re: POLL: Percentage of gross income donated to charity
Post by: Lagom on November 19, 2016, 12:57:51 AM
At about 2% of gross income for this year. Would love to be at more like 5-10%, but only just finished paying off a mass of consumer debt in June, with another large chunk of student loans to go. I get that it's tough to reconcile FIRE goals with charitable giving sometimes, but at the risk of sounding judgmental, I think anyone who is capable of being on track to FIRE has a moral obligation to use at least some small fraction of their wealth to help the less fortunate, solve global problems, etc. That said, I do get wanting to wait until enough wealth has been accumulated to donate towards a sustainable legacy (e.g. an endowed scholarship).   
Title: Re: POLL: Percentage of gross income donated to charity
Post by: Villanelle on November 19, 2016, 01:14:43 AM
It's about 4%.  It was a bit higher when we were DINKs.  As SINKs, I donate a lot more of my time, but overall, we donate less, although not significantly less as a percentage.  But since he's by far the primary bread winner and makes much more than I ever did, the % didn't change especially drastically. 

We also have plans to make extremely large donations upon our deaths.  Once we are well in to FIRE, we might begin making those donations gradually over time. 
Title: Re: POLL: Percentage of gross income donated to charity
Post by: College Stash on November 19, 2016, 10:33:06 AM
0%. I'm a college student. My post-graduation donations will also be 0% by choice with possible large sums later in life. Like most of my competent peers, I am not religious and thus I will never give to a church like many Americans.

[MOD NOTE: Yeah, we're not much for religion around here.  I get it.  No need to call other people stupid though.]
Title: Re: POLL: Percentage of gross income donated to charity
Post by: choppingwood on November 19, 2016, 10:45:14 AM
About 5% of gross. I set a flat amount for the year, though, and in a lean year this is a stretch amount. I have donated for years, and I look at this as compounding over time. A life saved twenty years ago is a life lived.

Half to all of my estate will go to a charity (Doctors without Borders), but it probably won't be much money, unless I die earlier rather than later.
Title: Re: POLL: Percentage of gross income donated to charity
Post by: everinprogress on November 19, 2016, 11:45:45 AM
Right now, about 2% of gross- with plans for this percentage to be increased quite a bit once husband is done training, we know where we'll be living long term, and we're not paying $2000 a month in daycare (3-5 year timeline)
Also planning on getting back to donating blood as soon as I qualify again, and donate items no longer needed
Title: Re: POLL: Percentage of gross income donated to charity
Post by: SnackDog on November 19, 2016, 01:31:53 PM
My employer matches up to $10K, so I figure we would be crazy to donate any less.  Our preferred charity is quite well known to us, is local, and directly benefits people in need in an immediate fashion.
Title: Re: POLL: Percentage of gross income donated to charity
Post by: Rural on November 19, 2016, 02:06:08 PM
Donate virtually nothing, but my volunteer grant writing brings in more than my gross income every year for a local charity. That's more than I could give (obviously).
Title: Re: POLL: Percentage of gross income donated to charity
Post by: clarkfan1979 on November 19, 2016, 05:16:56 PM
my opinion is you can make a much larger impact setting up large endowments for scholarships etc. towards the end of your life that will conitinue to pay out using something similar to a 4% rule on the money allocated for that purpose.  that being said i do make some donations throughout the year to various orgs. -


+1
Title: Re: POLL: Percentage of gross income donated to charity
Post by: arebelspy on November 19, 2016, 06:56:25 PM
Question isn't relevant to FIREEs who have no gross income.  Some percent of spending might be interesting to know.

We donate way too little, right now.

Only a year and 1/2 into FIRE, and need to see how sustainable it is.  Already planning a big bump to donations next year (based on donating a large chunk of the new book contract the wife just signed), and we're planning on leaving all of our funds to charity eventually (no inheritances for children, save the case where one has a medical issue and cannot care for themselves, in which case a trust will be set up to care for them, then the surplus will go to charity after they pass.  I'm actively against the idea of "donating" your extra money to your kids instead of much less fortunate people, as I've discussed many other times in other threads).

That doesn't push away the responsibility to help now, so I do want to actively increase our contributions (made donations last week to ACLU, EFF, and Planned Parenthood due to election, for example), but it does help me assuage my guilt a little, that it will all eventually go to charity even if we don't do so as much now.
Title: Re: POLL: Percentage of gross income donated to charity
Post by: pancakes on November 19, 2016, 08:35:46 PM
I like these threads because I didn't grow up in a financially altruistic family but want to be a generous and community minded person so want to learn from others.

At the moment I give very little. Maybe $500 a year + some donated time to community events.

On one hand I justify my non-giving because we have long term financial goals that are not nearly met but on the other hand we do spend thousands each year indulging ourselves in things like luxury foods and travel so we could certainly find more to give.

I also get torn when it comes to big charities as many seem to have ethical clouds over them or are run by organisations pushing an underlying agenda that I do not want to associate with.
Title: Re: POLL: Percentage of gross income donated to charity
Post by: Metric Mouse on November 20, 2016, 07:29:16 AM
So little, I don't even calculate it. Most of my charity involves local projects in which I give my time. Not really the same, and since I don't have an income because I'm fired, I can't really apply to the poll either.
Title: Re: POLL: Percentage of gross income donated to charity
Post by: HeadedWest2029 on November 20, 2016, 11:25:42 AM
Quote
I have donated for years, and I look at this as compounding over time. A life saved twenty years ago is a life lived
+1 this
I get the appeal of saving for a massive contribution towards the end of life, but I'm skeptical of myself being able to relinquish after a lifetime of frugality. Providing small business loans to the poor in impoverished countries could possibly out compound an index fund. The journey inward for me is how much is my giving (lack thereof) self-interest veiled in strategy for the long game. Not projecting...this is my baggage.
Title: Re: POLL: Percentage of gross income donated to charity
Post by: sauerkraut on November 21, 2016, 03:46:05 PM
0%. I'm a college student. My post-graduation donations will also be 0% by choice with possible large sums later in life. Like most of my competent peers, I am not religious and thus I will never give to a church like many Americans.

[MOD NOTE: Yeah, we're not much for religion around here.  I get it.  No need to call other people stupid though.]


Speak for yourself, Mod. The religious people mostly just lurk, for just this reason.
Title: Re: POLL: Percentage of gross income donated to charity
Post by: Metric Mouse on November 21, 2016, 04:25:36 PM
Quote
I have donated for years, and I look at this as compounding over time. A life saved twenty years ago is a life lived
+1 this
I get the appeal of saving for a massive contribution towards the end of life, but I'm skeptical of myself being able to relinquish after a lifetime of frugality. Providing small business loans to the poor in impoverished countries could possibly out compound an index fund. The journey inward for me is how much is my giving (lack thereof) self-interest veiled in strategy for the long game. Not projecting...this is my baggage.

This is a a great idea. Micro loans have been shown to make a huge positive imoact on oeople in developing countries.
Title: Re: POLL: Percentage of gross income donated to charity
Post by: BigHaus89 on November 21, 2016, 04:52:51 PM
I donate 1% of my gross pay to causes/charities threatened by the results of the election. I also donate an hour of my time to tutor math/science every week.
Title: Re: POLL: Percentage of gross income donated to charity
Post by: Paul der Krake on November 21, 2016, 05:04:56 PM
Practically 0 while in the accumulation phase. I do not have the will or time to figure out who is a worthy recipient.
Title: Re: POLL: Percentage of gross income donated to charity
Post by: FireLane on November 21, 2016, 05:47:52 PM
I aim to give around 5% of my income to worthy charities. Yes, this would delay my FIRE date, but I feel a moral obligation.

I've been immensely fortunate in my life: to be born in a wealthy developed country, to grow up in a happy and stable home, to have access to a solid education, to have family and friends who love and support me in whatever I do, to earn an income that's way more than I need to live on. Most of us here can say the same.

If I've made good choices in my life, I've also benefited from these privileges that did nothing to earn. The very least I can do is pass on some of this good fortune to others who haven't been so lucky. Even if it means I have to work a few months longer, that's a small price to pay.
Title: Re: POLL: Percentage of gross income donated to charity
Post by: Goldielocks on November 21, 2016, 05:59:16 PM
Question isn't relevant to FIREEs who have no gross income.  Some percent of spending might be interesting to know.


That is what I thought, too.

 A poll of donations as a % of discretionary spend would be interesting.

e.g., after taxes, housing, insurance, utilities, fuel and ok, car.   What is the ratio of donations to discretionary expenditures?

Title: Re: POLL: Percentage of gross income donated to charity
Post by: Metric Mouse on November 21, 2016, 06:06:59 PM
Question isn't relevant to FIREEs who have no gross income.  Some percent of spending might be interesting to know.


That is what I thought, too.

 A poll of donations as a % of discretionary spend would be interesting.

e.g., after taxes, housing, insurance, utilities, fuel and ok, car.   What is the ratio of donations to discretionary expenditures?

Shit. Then we would have to track our spending...
Title: Re: POLL: Percentage of gross income donated to charity
Post by: arebelspy on November 21, 2016, 06:41:41 PM
0%. I'm a college student. My post-graduation donations will also be 0% by choice with possible large sums later in life. Like most of my competent peers, I am not religious and thus I will never give to a church like many Americans.

[MOD NOTE: Yeah, we're not much for religion around here.  I get it.  No need to call other people stupid though.]


Speak for yourself, Mod. The religious people mostly just lurk, for just this reason.

That sentence is clearly the Royal We, as evidenced by the next sentence: "I get it."  Replace "we're" with "you're" if it helps you to understand.
Title: Re: POLL: Percentage of gross income donated to charity
Post by: ohsnap on November 21, 2016, 07:14:01 PM
0%. I'm a college student. My post-graduation donations will also be 0% by choice with possible large sums later in life. Like most of my competent peers, I am not religious and thus I will never give to a church like many Americans.

[MOD NOTE: Yeah, we're not much for religion around here.  I get it.  No need to call other people stupid though.]


I understand your reluctance.  But be glad there are those of us who are religious.  Yes, we give to a church, which money keeps the lights on & pays other expenses directly related to the church.  But my family and other "religious" people we know give generously of time & money to help foster children, orphans, immigrants (documented and not-so), disaster victims, cancer patients, etc. etc. etc.
Title: Re: POLL: Percentage of gross income donated to charity
Post by: arebelspy on November 21, 2016, 08:09:49 PM
MOD NOTE: Split tithing discussion here:
http://forum.mrmoneymustache.com/off-topic/tithing-questions/ (http://forum.mrmoneymustache.com/off-topic/tithing-questions/)
Title: Re: POLL: Percentage of gross income donated to charity
Post by: ohsnap on November 21, 2016, 08:36:09 PM
MOD NOTE: Split tithing discussion here:
http://forum.mrmoneymustache.com/off-topic/tithing-questions/ (http://forum.mrmoneymustache.com/off-topic/tithing-questions/)

From this thread, what should be moved to the tithing thread?  The only mention of tithing was from one poster who said he gives 10% but it's not a tithe because he's not religious.

People give charitably for different motivations, including religious motivations.  Can those who are motivated by Christian charity participate in this thread?
Title: Re: POLL: Percentage of gross income donated to charity
Post by: arebelspy on November 21, 2016, 08:45:44 PM
From this thread, what should be moved to the tithing thread?

I already split what needed to be split--there was a whole new question about tithing, someone was curious and hoping Christians would reply.  Did you bother to click the link in the post you quoted?

Quote
The only mention of tithing was from one poster who said he gives 10% but it's not a tithe because he's not religious.

No, there was a whole new post with questions about tithing.  That got split off, for discussion.

Quote
Can those who are motivated by Christian charity participate in this thread?

(https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/9743562/icon_rolleyes.gif)

Of course.

Try not to take offense when none is given.  Someone had some questions about tithing, so I split it to a separate thread so discussion of that could happen.  Why choose to put a chip on your shoulder, and ask a passive aggressive question like this?  It's not a great look.
Title: Re: POLL: Percentage of gross income donated to charity
Post by: nnls on November 22, 2016, 01:53:23 AM
0%. I'm a college student. My post-graduation donations will also be 0% by choice with possible large sums later in life. Like most of my competent peers, I am not religious and thus I will never give to a church like many Americans.

[MOD NOTE: Yeah, we're not much for religion around here.  I get it.  No need to call other people stupid though.]


I understand your reluctance.  But be glad there are those of us who are religious.  Yes, we give to a church, which money keeps the lights on & pays other expenses directly related to the church.  But my family and other "religious" people we know give generously of time & money to help foster children, orphans, immigrants (documented and not-so), disaster victims, cancer patients, etc. etc. etc.

You dont have to be religious to help foster children, orphans ad immigrants. My  non religious family all do this infact I have multiple members of my extended family who are foster parents and who volunteer both time and money at many organisations.

Religious people aren't the only ones who give generously
Title: Re: POLL: Percentage of gross income donated to charity
Post by: ohsnap on November 22, 2016, 07:08:40 AM
From this thread, what should be moved to the tithing thread?

I already split what needed to be split--there was a whole new question about tithing, someone was curious and hoping Christians would reply.  Did you bother to click the link in the post you quoted?

Quote
The only mention of tithing was from one poster who said he gives 10% but it's not a tithe because he's not religious.

No, there was a whole new post with questions about tithing.  That got split off, for discussion.

Quote
Can those who are motivated by Christian charity participate in this thread?

(https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/9743562/icon_rolleyes.gif)

Of course.

Try not to take offense when none is given.  Someone had some questions about tithing, so I split it to a separate thread so discussion of that could happen.  Why choose to put a chip on your shoulder, and ask a passive aggressive question like this?  It's not a great look.

My apologies.  Your post came directly after mine, so it looked like you wanted stuff headed that direction (anything religious) to go to that thread. My question was not passive aggressive; it was genuine!
Title: Re: POLL: Percentage of gross income donated to charity
Post by: ohsnap on November 22, 2016, 07:16:45 AM
0%. I'm a college student. My post-graduation donations will also be 0% by choice with possible large sums later in life. Like most of my competent peers, I am not religious and thus I will never give to a church like many Americans.

[MOD NOTE: Yeah, we're not much for religion around here.  I get it.  No need to call other people stupid though.]


I understand your reluctance.  But be glad there are those of us who are religious.  Yes, we give to a church, which money keeps the lights on & pays other expenses directly related to the church.  But my family and other "religious" people we know give generously of time & money to help foster children, orphans, immigrants (documented and not-so), disaster victims, cancer patients, etc. etc. etc.

You dont have to be religious to help foster children, orphans ad immigrants. My  non religious family all do this infact I have multiple members of my extended family who are foster parents and who volunteer both time and money at many organisations.

Religious people aren't the only ones who give generously

Of course not, and I didn't say that.  I was just pointing out that church giving doesn't just build churches; it builds hospitals, schools, food banks, & orphanages, too.  When I suggested "be glad there are those of us who are religious" because of our giving, I should have added that I'm also glad there are those who are NOT religiously motivated who give to similar causes.  Because the world can use our compassion, no matter the motivation.
Title: Re: POLL: Percentage of gross income donated to charity
Post by: arebelspy on November 22, 2016, 07:17:47 AM
My apologies.  Your post came directly after mine, so it looked like you wanted stuff headed that direction (anything religious) to go to that thread. My question was not passive aggressive; it was genuine!

Got it.  No worries.  :)
Title: Re: POLL: Percentage of gross income donated to charity
Post by: historienne on November 22, 2016, 09:38:58 AM
my opinion is you can make a much larger impact setting up large endowments for scholarships etc. towards the end of your life that will conitinue to pay out using something similar to a 4% rule on the money allocated for that purpose.  that being said i do make some donations throughout the year to various orgs. -

I take the opposite approach to this - if you are giving to effective charitable organizations, they are going to be creating an "investment return" much greater than the market would.  The most efficient thing to do, then, is to give money away as soon as possible.
Title: Re: POLL: Percentage of gross income donated to charity
Post by: I'm a red panda on November 22, 2016, 09:59:14 AM
About 7% of our household gross.

I volunteer a lot at a refugee center and they send out a statement to show the financial impact of each volunteer's time. That's equivalent to another 5%, and I volunteer time elsewhere too.  Plus stuff to goodwill and donating blood.
Title: Re: POLL: Percentage of gross income donated to charity
Post by: GetItRight on November 22, 2016, 01:18:46 PM
I selected "Nothing" but have donated a non trivial amount but still under 1%. There are certain libertarian groups I donate to and other groups or individuals that fight the good fight to restore our freedoms. I will donate more once I have no debt, but the only charities I will donate to are those which are active advocates for liberty until such time as freedom has been restored.  If that happens in my lifetime I will have tens of thousands in tax savings which I will donate a significant part of to non politically motivated charities.

Key factors:
1. Still paying off debt, I will donate more once debt free (likely 10%-15%)
2. Compulsory taxation is theft (namely the income tax), it is taken by force and not charity in any sense of the word
Title: Re: POLL: Percentage of gross income donated to charity
Post by: deborah on November 22, 2016, 02:47:43 PM
Taxes are good. They give you and your community the bones to flesh out your community - the roads, schools, police, hospitals, laws... that create a decent society. Your community has decided which of these things your taxes will pay for. As you live in a democracy, you have been part of that decision. Your community has also decided as a group how all these things are paid for, and one of them (in your case) is income tax. If you want to change your taxation mix, you can engage with your community to do so.
Title: Re: POLL: Percentage of gross income donated to charity
Post by: sauerkraut on November 22, 2016, 03:51:44 PM
0%. I'm a college student. My post-graduation donations will also be 0% by choice with possible large sums later in life. Like most of my competent peers, I am not religious and thus I will never give to a church like many Americans.

[MOD NOTE: Yeah, we're not much for religion around here.  I get it.  No need to call other people stupid though.]


Speak for yourself, Mod. The religious people mostly just lurk, for just this reason.

That sentence is clearly the Royal We, as evidenced by the next sentence: "I get it."  Replace "we're" with "you're" if it helps you to understand.

The royal "we" clearly referred to the members of the MMM community, if it helps you to understand.
Title: Re: POLL: Percentage of gross income donated to charity
Post by: englishteacheralex on November 22, 2016, 03:53:13 PM
0%. I'm a college student. My post-graduation donations will also be 0% by choice with possible large sums later in life. Like most of my competent peers, I am not religious and thus I will never give to a church like many Americans.

[MOD NOTE: Yeah, we're not much for religion around here.  I get it.  No need to call other people stupid though.]


Speak for yourself, Mod. The religious people mostly just lurk, for just this reason.

That sentence is clearly the Royal We, as evidenced by the next sentence: "I get it."  Replace "we're" with "you're" if it helps you to understand.

The royal "we" clearly referred to the members of the MMM community, if it helps you to understand.

I also think it was meant to be a bit tongue in cheek, since actually there are plenty of religious mustachians. And generally there is mostly plenty of tolerance manifested towards us. Just sometimes...not so much, and then the mods come out and try to keep things civil.
Title: Re: POLL: Percentage of gross income donated to charity
Post by: arebelspy on November 22, 2016, 07:07:19 PM
I also think it was meant to be a bit tongue in cheek, since actually there are plenty of religious mustachians. And generally there is mostly plenty of tolerance manifested towards us. Just sometimes...not so much, and then the mods come out and try to keep things civil.

And when they do, they get * for it, from the very group they were defending.

lol, just gotta laugh sometimes.  :)

Thanks for helping clarify, ETA.
Title: Re: POLL: Percentage of gross income donated to charity
Post by: Metric Mouse on November 23, 2016, 04:20:48 AM
Taxes are good. They give you and your community the bones to flesh out your community - the roads, schools, police, hospitals, laws... that create a decent society. Your community has decided which of these things your taxes will pay for. As you live in a democracy, you have been part of that decision. Your community has also decided as a group how all these things are paid for, and one of them (in your case) is income tax. If you want to change your taxation mix, you can engage with your community to do so.

I've said quite a few times - one of the greatest returns on my investment is through taxes. I get back so much more than I give; the rate of return is astronomical.
Title: Re: POLL: Percentage of gross income donated to charity
Post by: Villanelle on November 23, 2016, 07:19:53 AM
Quote
I have donated for years, and I look at this as compounding over time. A life saved twenty years ago is a life lived
+1 this
I get the appeal of saving for a massive contribution towards the end of life, but I'm skeptical of myself being able to relinquish after a lifetime of frugality. Providing small business loans to the poor in impoverished countries could possibly out compound an index fund. The journey inward for me is how much is my giving (lack thereof) self-interest veiled in strategy for the long game. Not projecting...this is my baggage.


This is a a great idea. Micro loans have been shown to make a huge positive imoact on oeople in developing countries.

For me, being able to compound the growth on my future donation is a very distant second to the real reason that I'll likely do one large donation upon death, or several larger donations during my very-later years.  The real reason is just uncertainty.  If I give away that money now and I realize my FIRE plans are coming up short, I can't get that money back. 

Holding on to it until I'm dead (or close) means I can still use it as an insurance policy against issues with FIRE.  And I figure the money will do at least as much good (if not more due to hopefully significant growth even in real dollars) in the future as it will now.  I suppose one could argue that "good" can compound as much or more than money, but I'm not sure I believe that's exactly true. 
Title: Re: POLL: Percentage of gross income donated to charity
Post by: HeadedWest2029 on November 23, 2016, 09:37:52 AM
Quote
And when they do, they get * for it, from the very group they were defending.
Hey man, I appreciated it and took no offense.  I can do without hubris from both the religious and non-religious sides who pretend to know with 100% certainty whether or not an omnipotent deity is controlling our universe.  A little humility
I have to agree though that people crapping on religious folks giving to charity seems like an odd campaign...unless it goes to some bloated mega church with zero % going to people in need.

In reference to question not addressing FIRE'd folks, I guess I could add the qualifier to chime in with how much you contributed percentage wise pre-FIRE.  Really just curious how people handle the two ideas seemingly at odds. 
Title: Re: POLL: Percentage of gross income donated to charity
Post by: SeaEhm on November 23, 2016, 10:11:05 AM
I am not sure why people make it their life purpose to try and convince someone one way or another regarding religion.

If someone wants to use an out of body person/place/thing that they use for guidance and enlightenment, so be it...
If someone wants to use only intrinsic will as guidance, so be it...


on topic - I read the thread and was shocked at how much people are donating.  Then, I looked at the results and realized that most/many of the 0% donors are not responding, haha.

Will be interesting to see the % donated combined with the household income poll thread.

For many of the people in the $200k/yr+ zone, I couldn't imagine donating $20k to a charity.
Title: Re: POLL: Percentage of gross income donated to charity
Post by: Lagom on November 23, 2016, 10:46:32 AM
I am not sure why people make it their life purpose to try and convince someone one way or another regarding religion.

If someone wants to use an out of body person/place/thing that they use for guidance and enlightenment, so be it...
If someone wants to use only intrinsic will as guidance, so be it...


on topic - I read the thread and was shocked at how much people are donating.  Then, I looked at the results and realized that most/many of the 0% donors are not responding, haha.

Will be interesting to see the % donated combined with the household income poll thread.

For many of the people in the $200k/yr+ zone, I couldn't imagine donating $20k to a charity.

Why not? Assuming they itemize, they get even more value out of such a donation (i.e. a substantially lower % of net income affected). Many with those kinds of incomes also work for companies that will match at least several thousand of those donations. I tread lightly here because I know it can be a touchy subject and as someone who screwed myself with debt in my 20s, I am especially sympathetic to those who worry about delaying their potential FIRE date, but here's the thing:

As an American raised in a highly educated middle class household, I am uniquely privileged in human history to have an opportunity to build wealth on a scale that puts me well into the top 1% globally, even though I am "only" top 15% in the US (albeit in an extremely HCOL area). I have advantages that billions of my fellow humans do not. To squander that privilege only on myself just feels...unfair. The fact that I can FIRE in the first place (even after digging myself into 6 figures of debt as a 20 something) is something few on earth can realistically dream of. In that light, while I in no way assign this expectation to others, I personally feel that I have a moral obligation to share some of my riches.

Despite that feeling, I have to be honest that it's still often difficult to push myself higher with my giving (especially since I am one of those people who pretty much never enjoyed working), but I find that I never regret it when I do.
Title: Re: POLL: Percentage of gross income donated to charity
Post by: tweezers on November 23, 2016, 10:54:12 AM
I am not sure why people make it their life purpose to try and convince someone one way or another regarding religion.

If someone wants to use an out of body person/place/thing that they use for guidance and enlightenment, so be it...
If someone wants to use only intrinsic will as guidance, so be it...


on topic - I read the thread and was shocked at how much people are donating.  Then, I looked at the results and realized that most/many of the 0% donors are not responding, haha.

Will be interesting to see the % donated combined with the household income poll thread.

For many of the people in the $200k/yr+ zone, I couldn't imagine donating $20k to a charity.

Why not? Assuming they itemize, they get even more value out of such a donation (i.e. a substantially lower % of net income affected). Many with those kinds of incomes also work for companies that will match at least several thousand of those donations. I tread lightly here because I know it can be a touchy subject and as someone who screwed myself with debt in my 20s, I am especially sympathetic to those who worry about delaying their potential FIRE date, but here's the thing:

As an American raised in a highly educated middle class household, I am uniquely privileged in human history to have an opportunity to build wealth on a scale that puts me well into the top 1% globally, even though I am "only" top 15% in the US (albeit in an extremely HCOL area). I have advantages that billions of my fellow humans do not. To squander that privilege only on myself just feels...unfair. The fact that I can FIRE in the first place (even after digging myself into 6 figures of debt as a 20 something) is something few on earth can realistically dream of. In that light, while I in no way assign this expectation to others, I personally feel that I have a moral obligation to share some of my riches.

+1000.  Our household income isn't as high as $200K, but we're >$100K, and donate ~$10%/year.  Planned monthly giving over a year isn't as gut-wrenching as writing a check for $10K+, and our contributions provide very real benefits now (as opposed to XX years from now when we die).
Title: Re: POLL: Percentage of gross income donated to charity
Post by: SeaEhm on November 23, 2016, 11:35:34 AM
I am not sure why people make it their life purpose to try and convince someone one way or another regarding religion.

If someone wants to use an out of body person/place/thing that they use for guidance and enlightenment, so be it...
If someone wants to use only intrinsic will as guidance, so be it...


on topic - I read the thread and was shocked at how much people are donating.  Then, I looked at the results and realized that most/many of the 0% donors are not responding, haha.

Will be interesting to see the % donated combined with the household income poll thread.

For many of the people in the $200k/yr+ zone, I couldn't imagine donating $20k to a charity.

Why not? Assuming they itemize, they get even more value out of such a donation (i.e. a substantially lower % of net income affected). Many with those kinds of incomes also work for companies that will match at least several thousand of those donations. I tread lightly here because I know it can be a touchy subject and as someone who screwed myself with debt in my 20s, I am especially sympathetic to those who worry about delaying their potential FIRE date, but here's the thing:

As an American raised in a highly educated middle class household, I am uniquely privileged in human history to have an opportunity to build wealth on a scale that puts me well into the top 1% globally, even though I am "only" top 15% in the US (albeit in an extremely HCOL area). I have advantages that billions of my fellow humans do not. To squander that privilege only on myself just feels...unfair. The fact that I can FIRE in the first place (even after digging myself into 6 figures of debt as a 20 something) is something few on earth can realistically dream of. In that light, while I in no way assign this expectation to others, I personally feel that I have a moral obligation to share some of my riches.

+1000.  Our household income isn't as high as $200K, but we're >$100K, and donate ~$10%/year.  Planned monthly giving over a year isn't as gut-wrenching as writing a check for $10K+, and our contributions provide very real benefits now (as opposed to XX years from now when we die).

very interesting philosophy. 

I respect that. 
Title: Re: POLL: Percentage of gross income donated to charity
Post by: HeadedWest2029 on November 23, 2016, 12:44:09 PM
Personally, I think donating $2k on a $20k salary is a bigger sacrifice than $20k on a $200k salary.  Easy for me to say though, I don't make $200k :)
Title: Re: POLL: Percentage of gross income donated to charity
Post by: robartsd on November 23, 2016, 12:46:09 PM
As someone closer to median US income than most on these forums, I'm pretty sure I would contribute less right now if I were not religious. While I do make additional charitable donations, the bulk of my giving is a full tithe (10%) to my church. Before I started thinking about retirement I used my gross income to calculate my tithe; however, I have now decided to deduct contributions to defined benefit plans (social security and pension) as I will count payments from those plans as income and it would be very difficult to separate what I contributed from the increase. So my total giving may be a little less than a full 10% of my gross income.

Off topic:
I am not sure why people make it their life purpose to try and convince someone one way or another regarding religion.
While some religious people do make it their life purpose, most do not. I think most of the time when someone brings up religion, they are simply trying to share something they have found that benefits their life (much like trying to share mustachianism).
Title: Re: POLL: Percentage of gross income donated to charity
Post by: boarder42 on November 23, 2016, 01:36:44 PM
As someone closer to median US income than most on these forums, I'm pretty sure I would contribute less right now if I were not religious. While I do make additional charitable donations, the bulk of my giving is a full tithe (10%) to my church. Before I started thinking about retirement I used my gross income to calculate my tithe; however, I have now decided to deduct contributions to defined benefit plans (social security and pension) as I will count payments from those plans as income and it would be very difficult to separate what I contributed from the increase. So my total giving may be a little less than a full 10% of my gross income.

Off topic:
I am not sure why people make it their life purpose to try and convince someone one way or another regarding religion.
While some religious people do make it their life purpose, most do not. I think most of the time when someone brings up religion, they are simply trying to share something they have found that benefits their life (much like trying to share mustachianism).

i havent seen a mustachian go to other countries or to native american reservations under the guise of helping people in order spread the good word of pete. and keeping a quick copy of the mustache commandments handy to distribute. i could be wrong maybe ARS is doing that right now but i tend to think he's just enjoying life and traveling with his family to experience the world.
Title: Re: POLL: Percentage of gross income donated to charity
Post by: Metric Mouse on November 23, 2016, 01:49:37 PM
i havent seen a mustachian go to other countries or to native american reservations under the guise of helping people in order spread the good word of pete. and keeping a quick copy of the mustache commandments handy to distribute. i could be wrong maybe ARS is doing that right now but i tend to think he's just enjoying life and traveling with his family to experience the world.

Reservations and other countries are not where one would find the unenlightened (with regards to mustachiansim). Perhaps there are prosthelytizers at new car dealerships, payday loan outlets and large oil refineries.
Title: Re: POLL: Percentage of gross income donated to charity
Post by: robartsd on November 23, 2016, 02:24:32 PM
i havent seen a mustachian go to other countries or to native american reservations under the guise of helping people in order spread the good word of pete. and keeping a quick copy of the mustache commandments handy to distribute. i could be wrong maybe ARS is doing that right now but i tend to think he's just enjoying life and traveling with his family to experience the world.
I was thinking more along the lines of friends/neighbors/co-workers who bring up religion; not full-time missionaries when comparing to sharing the way of the mustache. However, ARS as a missionary does make sense - that would explain why he spends so much time cultivating the community here.

Reservations and other countries are not where one would find the unenlightened (with regards to mustachiansim). Perhaps there are prosthelytizers at new car dealerships, payday loan outlets and large oil refineries.
You mean you don't go out this week every year to spread the word at retail stores in an attempt to save spendy-pants heathens from destroying their financial lives in the name of getting a good deal on stuff they don't need?
Title: Re: POLL: Percentage of gross income donated to charity
Post by: arebelspy on November 23, 2016, 04:34:22 PM
The "religion" sidebar on this thread is interesting to me and I can't quite make sense of it.  Someone apparently made some nasty comments about "religious" people, but that got erased so I don't know what they were.

Nothing was deleted.  One post was moved asking questions about tithing, but the link was included here.

You see everything that made a few people huffy; not being able to make sense of it is still reasonable.

i havent seen a mustachian go to other countries or to native american reservations under the guise of helping people in order spread the good word of pete. and keeping a quick copy of the mustache commandments handy to distribute. i could be wrong maybe ARS is doing that right now but i tend to think he's just enjoying life and traveling with his family to experience the world.

Oh man, the opportunities I've missed!

Reservations and other countries are not where one would find the unenlightened (with regards to mustachiansim). Perhaps there are prosthelytizers at new car dealerships, payday loan outlets and large oil refineries.
You mean you don't go out this week every year to spread the word at retail stores in an attempt to save spendy-pants heathens from destroying their financial lives in the name of getting a good deal on stuff they don't need?

Hah.  Awesome.
Title: Re: POLL: Percentage of gross income donated to charity
Post by: Hotstreak on November 23, 2016, 06:11:22 PM
For those who give money to your church, did you count in your % for the poll?  Since it's more like paying dues to a social club than an actual charity, I don't think it qualifies.  It varies from church to church, but a huge part of that donation is to keep the church open, not to provide charity.  Maybe we should count 5-20% of those donation, or whatever % the church actually uses for charity.
Title: Re: POLL: Percentage of gross income donated to charity
Post by: MoonLiteNite on November 23, 2016, 09:36:36 PM
Until federal income tax is removed, i will never donate cash to a charity.

I do donate tons of time and knowledge to several events throughout the year, around 40-120 hours or so.
Title: Re: POLL: Percentage of gross income donated to charity
Post by: arebelspy on November 23, 2016, 09:44:50 PM
Until federal income tax is removed, i will never donate cash to a charity.

I'm not following.  I mean, obviously you're against taxes, and have a quite extreme view on it.

I just don't get the connection to this thread.

What does contributing to society have to do with helping those less fortunate than you (especially if those people aren't even in the same country, but a much worse-off one)?
Title: Re: POLL: Percentage of gross income donated to charity
Post by: deborah on November 23, 2016, 10:26:52 PM
I do donate tons of time and knowledge to several events throughout the year, around 40-120 hours or so.


If there are 2080 working hours in a working year, 40 - 120 equates to somewhere between less than 2 - 6%. If others are donating 10% as a minimum, that is not tons of time.
Title: Re: POLL: Percentage of gross income donated to charity
Post by: Lagom on November 23, 2016, 10:51:29 PM
Until federal income tax is removed, i will never donate cash to a charity.

I do donate tons of time and knowledge to several events throughout the year, around 40-120 hours or so.

So taxation is "theft," therefore people far more screwed by the system than you (or worse, in a much much less beneficial system) just have to deal? I mean, I try not to get too judgmental about it but that view makes you seem 10x more selfish than if you just were worried about delaying your FIRE date.
Title: Re: POLL: Percentage of gross income donated to charity
Post by: nnls on November 24, 2016, 12:47:28 AM
I donate blood, they claim it saves lives, that is priceless.

I also donate blood or plasma every two weeks, but like to donate cash as well as they are helping in different ways
Title: Re: POLL: Percentage of gross income donated to charity
Post by: Half-Borg on November 24, 2016, 03:27:14 AM
Until federal income tax is removed, i will never donate cash to a charity.

I'm not following.  I mean, obviously you're against taxes, and have a quite extreme view on it.

I just don't get the connection to this thread.

What does contributing to society have to do with helping those less fortunate than you (especially if those people aren't even in the same country, but a much worse-off one)?
Maybe I can help out.
I pay 93€ every month for "Arbeitslosenversicherung" (unemployment protection). Nobody asked me I want to do that, it's forced upon me.
I think it's a great thing to have and enjoy paying it, but I will not give money to a homeless shelter. I think for 93€ a month, it is the governments job to provide for these people, not mine. If it's not enough, raise the tax.

The same goes for education and health care.
Title: Re: POLL: Percentage of gross income donated to charity
Post by: arebelspy on November 24, 2016, 05:07:49 AM
Until federal income tax is removed, i will never donate cash to a charity.

I'm not following.  I mean, obviously you're against taxes, and have a quite extreme view on it.

I just don't get the connection to this thread.

What does contributing to society have to do with helping those less fortunate than you (especially if those people aren't even in the same country, but a much worse-off one)?
Maybe I can help out.
I pay 93€ every month for "Arbeitslosenversicherung" (unemployment protection). Nobody asked me I want to do that, it's forced upon me.
I think it's a great thing to have and enjoy paying it, but I will not give money to a homeless shelter. I think for 93€ a month, it is the governments job to provide for these people, not mine. If it's not enough, raise the tax.

The same goes for education and health care.

And your taxes cover everyone less fortunate than you, completely?

Quote
If it's not enough, raise the tax.

You'd prefer more taxes to, say, help out illiterate women in another country, or fund malaria vaccines, than voluntarily contributing to whatever causes are more important to you?

And you refuse to help others if it's not forced on you?

How about causes the government doesn't fund?  Nonprofits that support things that are vital, but depend on contributions?  (ACLU, for example, comes to mind in the US.)
Title: Re: POLL: Percentage of gross income donated to charity
Post by: Half-Borg on November 24, 2016, 05:39:03 AM
You'd prefer more taxes to, say, help out illiterate women in another country, or fund malaria vaccines, than voluntarily contributing to whatever causes are more important to you?
Like I said, this view includes education. A lot of money is shuffeld around the European Union to tackle things like this. A little money is shuffeld to countries outside the EU to these kind of things and I support that.#
I vote for raising taxes for high-income earners, which I am.

I don't feel personally responsible for some women, who I'll never meet, in some fucked-up country, which I'll never visit. So I don't feel any obligation to give additional, personal money.
Things I care enough for to donate for include cancer research, but that's 100% selfish, because I would not like to die of cancer. If anybody else profits from this research, that's for the better.
Title: Re: POLL: Percentage of gross income donated to charity
Post by: Metric Mouse on November 24, 2016, 05:50:48 AM
You'd prefer more taxes to, say, help out illiterate women in another country, or fund malaria vaccines, than voluntarily contributing to whatever causes are more important to you?
Like I said, this view includes education. A lot of money is shuffeld around the European Union to tackle things like this. A little money is shuffeld to countries outside the EU to these kind of things and I support that.#
I vote for raising taxes for high-income earners, which I am.

I don't feel personally responsible for some women, who I'll never meet, in some fucked-up country, which I'll never visit. So I don't feel any obligation to give additional, personal money.
Things I care enough for to donate for include cancer research, but that's 100% selfish, because I would not like to die of cancer. If anybody else profits from this research, that's for the better.

Selfish giving for the win. It's exactly why I'm so excited to pay taxes - I benefit (and many, many, many others benefit) from it far more than I could ever hope to from the small amount of money the government takes from me.
Title: Re: POLL: Percentage of gross income donated to charity
Post by: SeaEhm on November 24, 2016, 08:31:42 AM
Maybe I can help out.
I pay 93€ every month for "Arbeitslosenversicherung" (unemployment protection).

I would probably be unemployed in your country if all of the words take that much mental brain power to memorize their spelling.

Interesting philosophies are brought up in here

We have some people who feel guilt that they have things others do not while others feel they they keep what they've reaped.


Title: Re: POLL: Percentage of gross income donated to charity
Post by: Half-Borg on November 24, 2016, 08:46:25 AM
Maybe I can help out.
I pay 93€ every month for "Arbeitslosenversicherung" (unemployment protection).

I would probably be unemployed in your country if all of the words take that much mental brain power to memorize their spelling.
Well you wouldn't get any benefits, because you'd have to go to the "Agentur für Arbeit" to fill out a "Arbeitslosengeldantrag", which probably includes a lot more fancy words :D

But don't feel bad, I can't remember how to spell "especially" and "specifically".
Title: Re: POLL: Percentage of gross income donated to charity
Post by: englishteacheralex on November 24, 2016, 09:40:26 AM
For those who give money to your church, did you count in your % for the poll?  Since it's more like paying dues to a social club than an actual charity, I don't think it qualifies.  It varies from church to church, but a huge part of that donation is to keep the church open, not to provide charity.  Maybe we should count 5-20% of those donation, or whatever % the church actually uses for charity.

This is one way of looking at church.

Our church does not own a building and meets at a community gym in an urban area that is mostly housing projects. Our congregation is extremely diverse and a large number of them receive help from our church. Our church's budget is broken down into 25% given to local organizations that help the poor, around 20% to rent the gym, 10% to support two missionaries from our congregation who live in a remote and impoverished area of Indonesia and run a free Judo school for the neighborhood kids there, and the rest to salaries of the pastors and counselors who minister to our congregation, many of whom do not have access to other means of support. Our donations also at one time supported a restaurant in the neighborhood that operated on volunteer labor from our congregation and who only employed people with criminal records and sex trafficking victims, although the restaurant has since gone out of business, sadly.

To us, it's more than a social club, and our tithe is not required, so the analogy to dues doesn't quite work. It would actually be a pretty crappy social club, since one of our volunteer positions is setting up all the chairs and sound equipment in the gym every Sunday, which takes hours. It's not air conditioned, which means it's generally pretty muggy and hot. If I were going to join a social club I'd probably pick something with a pool and maybe some tennis courts.

But never mind. Yes, there are probably churches that function as social clubs and not as ministries. The ideal, however, is that a church functions as a means of charity in and of itself--a place where people of all walks of life can receive spiritual and material comfort regardless of their ability to contribute materially.






Title: Re: POLL: Percentage of gross income donated to charity
Post by: GetItRight on November 24, 2016, 10:28:32 AM
You'd prefer more taxes to, say, help out illiterate women in another country, or fund malaria vaccines, than voluntarily contributing to whatever causes are more important to you?
Like I said, this view includes education. A lot of money is shuffeld around the European Union to tackle things like this. A little money is shuffeld to countries outside the EU to these kind of things and I support that.#
I vote for raising taxes for high-income earners, which I am.

I don't feel personally responsible for some women, who I'll never meet, in some fucked-up country, which I'll never visit. So I don't feel any obligation to give additional, personal money.
Things I care enough for to donate for include cancer research, but that's 100% selfish, because I would not like to die of cancer. If anybody else profits from this research, that's for the better.

Selfish giving for the win. It's exactly why I'm so excited to pay taxes - I benefit (and many, many, many others benefit) from it far more than I could ever hope to from the small amount of money the government takes from me.

Please tell me you don't claim any deductions on your taxes or use any tax advantaged retirement accounts, since you're so enthusiastic to pay taxes. If you think the money the government takes from you, then takes 30%+ off the top for overhead and waste and make-work jobs which add nothing to the economy, then passes the rest on to whoever lobbied hardest (more wasted money); you should logically be all for eliminating compulsory income tax so individuals like yourself will have more money to donate to charities and the same amount will go a lot farther to help a given cause since private entities which rely on voluntary transactions for funding are far more efficient than the government at accomplishing their mission statement.
Title: Re: POLL: Percentage of gross income donated to charity
Post by: Metric Mouse on November 24, 2016, 10:34:34 AM
Please tell me you don't claim any deductions on your taxes or use any tax advantaged retirement accounts, since you're so enthusiastic to pay taxes. If you think the money the government takes from you, then takes 30%+ off the top for overhead and waste and make-work jobs which add nothing to the economy, then passes the rest on to whoever lobbied hardest (more wasted money); you should logically be all for eliminating compulsory income tax so individuals like yourself will have more money to donate to charities and the same amount will go a lot farther to help a given cause since private entities which rely on voluntary transactions for funding are far more efficient than the government at accomplishing their mission statement.

I'm not sure how you got that I should logically be for eliminating taxes when I just stated they're super awesome...
Title: Re: POLL: Percentage of gross income donated to charity
Post by: arebelspy on November 24, 2016, 10:37:36 AM
Please tell me you don't claim any deductions on your taxes or use any tax advantaged retirement accounts, since you're so enthusiastic to pay taxes. If you think the money the government takes from you, then takes 30%+ off the top for overhead and waste and make-work jobs which add nothing to the economy, then passes the rest on to whoever lobbied hardest (more wasted money); you should logically be all for eliminating compulsory income tax so individuals like yourself will have more money to donate to charities and the same amount will go a lot farther to help a given cause since private entities which rely on voluntary transactions for funding are far more efficient than the government at accomplishing their mission statement.

Not the person you're responding to, but since I agree with them, I'll chime in.

This is a misnomer, that one should just write a check or something to the IRS if they want higher taxes.  One can be for higher taxes for everyone (including themselves) without voluntarily paying more.

I'd be in favor of loopholes and deductions closed/eliminated (even if I currently benefit). I'm not going to voluntarily pay more, but I'll be happy to contribute more if everyone else is, as well.

That is, it's a team effort.  And I'm glad to do my part.

I definitely contribute to charity, too.  They're two separate ideas.  The government covers things charities don't and/or can't.  Things for society at large.

Charities help the downtrodden, disenfranchised, or otherwise unfortunate (among other things).  The government can do this, at times, but often don't do it in targeted ways.  Further, some charities I support actively work against the government, because the government does some things I don't care for (violation of civil rights, for example).

That doesn't mean I want to throw the baby out with the bathwater--on the whole, the government does more good than harm (even counting waste).  The ROI I get on my taxes in return for a stable society with many benefits (fire, police, roads, economy/trade, etc. etc.) is HUGE.  The ROI I get on my charity funds (someone else learning to read, not dying of malaria, getting clean drinking water, etc. etc.) is likewise great.

They're both good things, and I'm in favor of both of them.

:)
Title: Re: POLL: Percentage of gross income donated to charity
Post by: GetItRight on November 24, 2016, 10:41:39 AM
I'm not sure how you got that I should logically be for eliminating taxes when I just stated they're super awesome...

I benefit (and many, many, many others benefit) from it far more than I could ever hope to from the small amount of money the government takes from me.

I explained in my response to you, but I'll say it again slightly differently and I'll try to keep it short. If you believe government does things that benefit yourself and many others, using money it takes from you then it logically follows that you (being Mustachian inclined) would prefer a more efficient use of that money to benefit yourself and many others, without the massive overhead and waste of government. Private businesses and organizations do not have the massive waste of government.

If you prefer (or are indifferent to) a more wasteful use of your money, that is less benefit for yourself and many others than is optimally possible per dollar, then you may not care so much about efficient use of your money as I tend to assume most here do.
Title: Re: POLL: Percentage of gross income donated to charity
Post by: Lagom on November 24, 2016, 10:44:11 AM
"Taxes are theft" folks tend to reason like climate change deniers. They think all of their wealth was built entirely through their own talents and hard work and was in no way enabled by things like the country in which they live, which, you know, operates on taxes.
Title: Re: POLL: Percentage of gross income donated to charity
Post by: arebelspy on November 24, 2016, 10:50:25 AM
I'm not sure how you got that I should logically be for eliminating taxes when I just stated they're super awesome...

I benefit (and many, many, many others benefit) from it far more than I could ever hope to from the small amount of money the government takes from me.

I explained in my response to you, but I'll say it again slightly differently and I'll try to keep it short. If you believe government does things that benefit yourself and many others, using money it takes from you then it logically follows that you (being Mustachian inclined) would prefer a more efficient use of that money to benefit yourself and many others, without the massive overhead and waste of government. Private businesses and organizations do not have the massive waste of government.

If you prefer (or are indifferent to) a more wasteful use of your money, that is less benefit for yourself and many others than is optimally possible per dollar, then you may not care so much about efficient use of your money as I tend to assume most here do.

Or we disagree with your premise, and think the government is a lot less wasteful than you do.

For the amount accomplished, the waste is surprisingly small.  If the same activities were done by private companies, I wouldn't be surprised to see it cost MORE, and the "waste" would come in terms of higher profits accumulating to those at the top.

We're getting a bit off topic from charity though.

I'm sure you will disagree.  No need to say so; we get it, you think government is wasteful.

Getting back on topic: If efficiency is important to you in charities, I'd encourage you to look into effective altruism!  (Google the term, if you're unfamiliar with it.)
Title: Re: POLL: Percentage of gross income donated to charity
Post by: Metric Mouse on November 24, 2016, 10:56:27 AM
I'm not sure how you got that I should logically be for eliminating taxes when I just stated they're super awesome...

I benefit (and many, many, many others benefit) from it far more than I could ever hope to from the small amount of money the government takes from me.

I explained in my response to you, but I'll say it again slightly differently and I'll try to keep it short. If you believe government does things that benefit yourself and many others, using money it takes from you then it logically follows that you (being Mustachian inclined) would prefer a more efficient use of that money to benefit yourself and many others, without the massive overhead and waste of government. Private businesses and organizations do not have the massive waste of government.

If you prefer (or are indifferent to) a more wasteful use of your money, that is less benefit for yourself and many others than is optimally possible per dollar, then you may not care so much about efficient use of your money as I tend to assume most here do.

Ahh... thank you for explaining. Assuming that someone believes that government is a net waster and that private structures would inherently perform all of these tasks better was a faulty starting point. It follows then that the conclusion would also be faulty.
Title: Re: POLL: Percentage of gross income donated to charity
Post by: Half-Borg on November 24, 2016, 11:22:03 AM
Please tell me you don't claim any deductions on your taxes or use any tax advantaged retirement accounts, since you're so enthusiastic to pay taxes.
I don't (because I'm not elligible for any) and don't (because tax advanced accounts around here suck).
The government covers things charities don't and/or can't.  Things for society at large.
Yeah that's right, thing is, I only care about society at large. The downtrodden just don't convern me that much.
So I'm back to "the only charites that might be worth consideration are research facilities"
Title: Re: POLL: Percentage of gross income donated to charity
Post by: GetItRight on November 24, 2016, 11:35:42 AM
I'm not sure how you got that I should logically be for eliminating taxes when I just stated they're super awesome...

I benefit (and many, many, many others benefit) from it far more than I could ever hope to from the small amount of money the government takes from me.

I explained in my response to you, but I'll say it again slightly differently and I'll try to keep it short. If you believe government does things that benefit yourself and many others, using money it takes from you then it logically follows that you (being Mustachian inclined) would prefer a more efficient use of that money to benefit yourself and many others, without the massive overhead and waste of government. Private businesses and organizations do not have the massive waste of government.

If you prefer (or are indifferent to) a more wasteful use of your money, that is less benefit for yourself and many others than is optimally possible per dollar, then you may not care so much about efficient use of your money as I tend to assume most here do.

Ahh... thank you for explaining. Assuming that someone believes that government is a net waster and that private structures would inherently perform all of these tasks better was a faulty starting point. It follows then that the conclusion would also be faulty.

A net waster? I didn't say that (and am not certain on the numbers) but doubt government projects are an overall "net waste". Governmetn can accomplish things, just at a tremendously higher cost (and often lower quality) than private individuals or organizations. That much is a fact, I won't do all your research for you but here's a good start... I will say I was mistaken in the numbers I initially mentioned, in that I tremendously underestimated the wastefulness of the government.

“[Government] income redistribution agencies are estimated to absorb about two-thirds of each dollar budgeted to them in overhead costs, and in some cases as much as three-quarters of each dollar. Using government data, Robert L. Woodson (1989, p. 63) calculated that, on average, 70 cents of each dollar budgeted for government assistance goes not to the poor, but to the members of the welfare bureaucracy and others serving the poor. Michael Tanner (1996, p. 136 n. 18) cites regional studies supporting this 70/30 split.

In contrast, administrative and other operating costs in private charities absorb, on average, only one-third or less of each dollar donated, leaving the other two-thirds (or more) to be delivered to recipients. Charity Navigator, www.charitynavigator.org the newest of several private sector organizations that rate charities by various criteria and supply that information to the public on their web sites, found that, as of 2004, 70 percent of charities they rated spent at least 75 percent of their budgets on the programs and services they exist to provide, and 90 percent spent at least 65 percent. The median administrative expense among all charities in their sample was only 10.3 percent.”

https://www.theadvocates.org/effective-government-welfare-compared-private-charity/ (https://www.theadvocates.org/effective-government-welfare-compared-private-charity/)
Title: Re: POLL: Percentage of gross income donated to charity
Post by: Hotstreak on November 24, 2016, 11:58:44 AM
For those who give money to your church, did you count in your % for the poll?  Since it's more like paying dues to a social club than an actual charity, I don't think it qualifies.  It varies from church to church, but a huge part of that donation is to keep the church open, not to provide charity.  Maybe we should count 5-20% of those donation, or whatever % the church actually uses for charity.

This is one way of looking at church.

Our church does not own a building and meets at a community gym in an urban area that is mostly housing projects. Our congregation is extremely diverse and a large number of them receive help from our church. Our church's budget is broken down into 25% given to local organizations that help the poor, around 20% to rent the gym, 10% to support two missionaries from our congregation who live in a remote and impoverished area of Indonesia and run a free Judo school for the neighborhood kids there, and the rest to salaries of the pastors and counselors who minister to our congregation, many of whom do not have access to other means of support. Our donations also at one time supported a restaurant in the neighborhood that operated on volunteer labor from our congregation and who only employed people with criminal records and sex trafficking victims, although the restaurant has since gone out of business, sadly.


It sounds like a great church!


Quote
To us, it's more than a social club, and our tithe is not required, so the analogy to dues doesn't quite work.
Donations aren't required from any specific member, but they are necessary.  If the members want to continue going to church, they need to donate, and if they all stop then the church will cease to exist.


Quote
It would actually be a pretty crappy social club, since one of our volunteer positions is setting up all the chairs and sound equipment in the gym every Sunday, which takes hours. It's not air conditioned, which means it's generally pretty muggy and hot. If I were going to join a social club I'd probably pick something with a pool and maybe some tennis courts.
I saw 'social club' from an atheist perspective.  In addition to belonging to a group of like minded people (social club), there are other personal benefits derived from attending church such as believing you will go to heaven, teaching your family moral values, etc.  Those thing's aren't charitable, they are for your personal benefit.


Quote
But never mind. Yes, there are probably churches that function as social clubs and not as ministries. The ideal, however, is that a church functions as a means of charity in and of itself--a place where people of all walks of life can receive spiritual and material comfort regardless of their ability to contribute materially.


I agree.  The issues that detract from the 'ideal' are that 1) Members are paying for a service they personally derive significant benefit from, and 2) high overhead makes them inefficient charities (with salary ~40% and rent/mtg ~20).  So I don't think someone tithing can say "I give 10% to charity" if 6% goes towards non-charitable ministry and only 4% can be traced to bona fide charitable efforts.


If I make a $200 "voluntary contribution" to a community sports league for my kid to participate, and that amount pays for my kid as well as a poor kid who's family can't contribute, I would not count that whole amount as charity (regardless of whether the IRS considers the whole thing a donation).
Title: Re: POLL: Percentage of gross income donated to charity
Post by: Kakashi on November 24, 2016, 05:08:58 PM
I make over $350k/yr.  I'm at 0% (ok I give about $100/yr but effectively that's 0%).  Unlike everyone else who says "but I give time...", I'm not going to even rationalize, because I don't feel guilty.  The fact that I contribute to taxes is more than enough.  Especially democratic "social good" taxes.  Especially since I live in CA.  Last year my income was around $425k, and I contributed $125k to taxes.  So the amount I was taxed is more than enough to support 3 other families fully. The amount I paid was more than the next 20 families earning median income.  So yea, I'm more than doing "my part". 
Title: Re: POLL: Percentage of gross income donated to charity
Post by: Adram on November 25, 2016, 05:04:56 AM
Similarly to others, I believe my taxes are sufficient contribution to society. We pay more in taxes than the amount we spend on living during the year. Why would I contribute even more to others than the amount I spend on myself?
Title: Re: POLL: Percentage of gross income donated to charity
Post by: Lagom on November 25, 2016, 03:04:04 PM
To you anti-tax folks, I hope you have at least tried to reflect on the fact that living in a first-world country in the first place (which are built upon and run by the taxes you so decry) is what enabled you to make the income that you do. In that respect, the taxes are largely irrelevant, because if you were unlucky enough to be born elsewhere (more likely than not, in the cosmic probability game), there is almost zero chance you would have the opportunity to FIRE at all, much less thumb your nose at the less fortunate.
Title: Re: POLL: Percentage of gross income donated to charity
Post by: GetItRight on November 25, 2016, 03:44:01 PM
To you anti-tax folks, I hope you have at least tried to reflect on the fact that living in a first-world country in the first place (which are built upon and run by the taxes you so decry) is what enabled you to make the income that you do.

I do not work for the government, I am not paid with your tax dollars. I earn a decent income and have a reasonable quality of life despite government taxes. I am not part of the make-work welfare class, the ruling class, nor am I paid with the 70%+ wasteful overhead of the government welfare apparatus.

In that respect, the taxes are largely irrelevant, because if you were unlucky enough to be born elsewhere (more likely than not, in the cosmic probability game), there is almost zero chance you would have the opportunity to FIRE at al

I know and have worked with plenty of immigrants who earn well over average income, in fact I'd wager most of the employees where I work now are immigrants. I work for a company with a very diverse and significantly immigrant workforce. I'm not seeing your alleged "almost zero chance" of opportunity to FIRE for those born elsewhere.

,much less thumb your nose at the less fortunate.

I certainly haven't "thumbed my nose" at anyone "less fortunate", I'll assume your directing this at someone else.

What are your thoughts on the 70%+ waste of government welfare vs the ~10% median overhead of charities?

How do you feel about the use of force (which is to say violence) to collect taxes? Do you find the use of violence to collect taxes ethical?
Title: Re: POLL: Percentage of gross income donated to charity
Post by: Lagom on November 25, 2016, 03:56:16 PM
I don't know what you're talking about but it has nothing to do with what I said.

Do you not comprehend that independent of anything the government is doing right now being born in the U.S. gives you unprecedented privilege with regards to economic opportunity? This is much less true at the bottom of the socioeconomic scale, of course, but still more true for most of them than the majority of the planet. Do you literally think that if you were born in, for example, rural India, you would still be able to accomplish what you have with no serious issue?

You know some immigrants who make a lot of money therefore my point is refuted? Really?? Do you deny the levels of poverty in much of the third world? Now I suppose you'll go dig up how many Africans have cell phones and tell me they have it just as good as us?

I am not going to rehash how silly the taxes is theft argument is. It's easy enough to find plenty on the subject but I doubt you're open to it anyway. It doesn't matter, though, because my point is that even with the government "stealing" so much of your money, you still have it better than 99% of the planet for reasons that have nothing to do with how hard you worked for your wealth. At least be honest that you don't care that others have it less fortunate, at least not enough to want to leverage your privilege to help in some small way.

As I mentioned above, if you prioritize you and yours, I won't call you out for it. But I will call you out if you pretend like there aren't billions of people on this earth who could benefit from us sharing (voluntarily) the obscene wealth that makes it possible for us to even be having this discussion right now.
Title: Re: POLL: Percentage of gross income donated to charity
Post by: boognish on November 25, 2016, 04:02:40 PM
That 70% figure on government welfare waste was a bit surprising to me. Googling around, it seems to be quite an overstatement (at least from non-libertarian sites).

http://www.politifact.com/truth-o-meter/statements/2013/mar/19/michele-bachmann/michele-bachmann-says-70-percent-food-stamp-fundin/
Title: Re: POLL: Percentage of gross income donated to charity
Post by: deborah on November 25, 2016, 04:31:21 PM
Look around your house. It is built to the building code standards that were developed with your taxes. Walk to the front door and open it. Your block of land was subdivided, a title created... as part of your taxes. Look toward the road. It was planned and laid with your taxes (or if it wasn't the main road you go along to get anywhere was). No-one can claim that they get no return from their taxes. Sure there are some things governments do that are wasteful, but we have a system that distinguishes between government, judiciary and media (although the first two are both paid for by taxes), that enables our community to be informed about any waste and to do something about it.
Title: Re: POLL: Percentage of gross income donated to charity
Post by: Cassie on November 25, 2016, 05:23:29 PM
We donate both time and $. One of my favorite charities is The Salvation Army because even though it is christian based and we are not really religious they spend most of the $ on their programs and very little in salaries,etc. They have helped many people get clean and sober, provide them a place to live and give them job skills. I know many of my former clients have been helped by them. I also donate to local animal rescues that are doing great work with very little $.
Title: Re: POLL: Percentage of gross income donated to charity
Post by: arebelspy on November 25, 2016, 05:41:57 PM
It varies from church to church, but a huge part of that donation is to keep the church open, not to provide charity. 
 
Umm, yeah, churches, museums, and other nonprofits need money to "keep their doors open".  So if I give money to them that I don't have to that is called charity and the community benefits because they can go to those places and benefit from their services.  Am I missing something?  You seem to have a very strict definition of charity... I would have to give money to something that is remote enough from me and my community that I don't benefit, it can't be for keeping a community facility open, etc.  By your definition if I give to NPR or wikipedia I would also be SOL because I benefit from their content and I believe their content benefits my community.  That money that keeps the church open enables weddings, baptisms, funerals, celebrations, spiritual seeking and counseling, community events, etc, etc.

And the local golf/country club? Does that count as a charity too then?  It's a facility that people enjoy the community there, where people have weddings, celebrations, etc., and the money is used to keep it open.

Hotstreak's definition of charity may be strict, but yours seems quite lax.

We all draw our own lines, is my point.  I don't see that yours is any more valid than his. :)
Title: Re: POLL: Percentage of gross income donated to charity
Post by: SnackDog on November 26, 2016, 01:18:01 AM
In San Antonio there is a very historic private and exclusive country club called The Argyle. Friends used to take me there for grand lunches when I was a student. Many years ago the officers came up with a clever way to minimize taxes for the club and members. It is a charity! The eye-watering initiation fee and dues support The Southwest Medical Foundation and the club is somehow run as an offshoot of the foundation, like a board room.
Title: Re: POLL: Percentage of gross income donated to charity
Post by: Metric Mouse on November 26, 2016, 04:13:04 AM
"Taxes are theft" folks tend to reason like climate change deniers. They think all of their wealth was built entirely through their own talents and hard work and was in no way enabled by things like the country in which they live, which, you know, operates on taxes.

The same reasoning used behind California should be its own country argument ; it's the world's 6th largest economy! Of course, having nothing to do with the country it is part of.
Title: Re: POLL: Percentage of gross income donated to charity
Post by: Kakashi on November 26, 2016, 04:30:49 AM
I don't know what you're talking about but it has nothing to do with what I said.

Do you not comprehend that independent of anything the government is doing right now being born in the U.S. gives you unprecedented privilege with regards to economic opportunity? This is much less true at the bottom of the socioeconomic scale, of course, but still more true for most of them than the majority of the planet. Do you literally think that if you were born in, for example, rural India, you would still be able to accomplish what you have with no serious issue?

You know some immigrants who make a lot of money therefore my point is refuted? Really?? Do you deny the levels of poverty in much of the third world? Now I suppose you'll go dig up how many Africans have cell phones and tell me they have it just as good as us?

I am not going to rehash how silly the taxes is theft argument is. It's easy enough to find plenty on the subject but I doubt you're open to it anyway. It doesn't matter, though, because my point is that even with the government "stealing" so much of your money, you still have it better than 99% of the planet for reasons that have nothing to do with how hard you worked for your wealth. At least be honest that you don't care that others have it less fortunate, at least not enough to want to leverage your privilege to help in some small way.

As I mentioned above, if you prioritize you and yours, I won't call you out for it. But I will call you out if you pretend like there aren't billions of people on this earth who could benefit from us sharing (voluntarily) the obscene wealth that makes it possible for us to even be having this discussion right now.

Lagom, you are right.  The fact that there are people like you make this world a better place.  Truly.

My problem is that I don't care.  And I don't mean that in a stuck up kind of way, but rather, while I recognize there are others much less fortunate than myself, it just doesn't stir any kind of emotion in me.  I'll watch something about the the plight of someone in the 3rd world, but once I turn it off, the thought disappears.  I do suppose if I ever get more convicted about it, then I would voluntarily donate more. 
Title: Re: POLL: Percentage of gross income donated to charity
Post by: human on November 26, 2016, 04:48:53 AM
Does the NRA really have charity status isn't it a lobbying group?
Title: Re: POLL: Percentage of gross income donated to charity
Post by: human on November 26, 2016, 05:43:01 AM
I'm pretty sure most of their work is lobbying and most funds donated don't have charity status. I'm not an nra member not even a supporter but I think it's a little disengenious to be ranting against them as if they are some enemey of the church.

Off topic rant of my own I actually think religious organizations should not be able to get charity status.
Title: Re: POLL: Percentage of gross income donated to charity
Post by: human on November 26, 2016, 05:59:17 AM
A good charity would be one helping the poor without preaching and social commentary and expectations about how people should live their lives. Medecin sans frontieres comes to mind.
Title: Re: POLL: Percentage of gross income donated to charity
Post by: human on November 26, 2016, 06:12:17 AM
That is the common refrain we hear about religious organizations and it just proves their hypocrisy.
Title: Re: POLL: Percentage of gross income donated to charity
Post by: human on November 26, 2016, 06:16:56 AM
They preach love, giving and understandi but it's really about social control which your post above highlights with no qualms at all I might. Real creepy.
Title: Re: POLL: Percentage of gross income donated to charity
Post by: human on November 26, 2016, 06:27:01 AM
Churches preach about reproductive rights, sexual rights, lobby governments on both. I could go on and on but it's not like you will repudiate the organization that forms such a big part of your identity.

I'm just trying to show that it's a bit rich for someone who rants about the NRA (which is not a charity but a lobby group) is totally fine with the biggest organized system for social control being considered a charity. If anything they should be considered a lobby group too.
Title: Re: POLL: Percentage of gross income donated to charity
Post by: human on November 26, 2016, 06:41:05 AM
In the western world some 1 billion people subscribe to some kind of christian fakery. Buddism? I know nothing about, if they stay out of my business unlike christian organizations I may not have a problem with them. If you knew anything about the catholic church in Canada you'd understand my concern. Better to treat all organized religion with skepticism than allow the kind of atrocities that happen here to occur here again.

This still does not detract from my point that organize religion is about control even meek buddhism.
Title: Re: POLL: Percentage of gross income donated to charity
Post by: robartsd on November 28, 2016, 08:53:50 AM
Look around your house. It is built to the building code standards that were developed with your taxes. Walk to the front door and open it. Your block of land was subdivided, a title created... as part of your taxes.
While I agree that everybody receives some benefits from government, very little if any of the cost of developing land is paid by general taxes. Building codes are mostly developed by professional organizations and adopted by local governments - most of the costs of developing the codes come from the professionals buying copies of the code books so that they can design the buildings. Services like subdividing the land and recording titles are paid primarily by the fees associated with these transactions. Even the building of much of the neighborhood infrastructure is done by the developers. It isn't until you get to maintaining the infrastructure that taxes have any significant funding role.
Title: Re: POLL: Percentage of gross income donated to charity
Post by: Lagom on November 28, 2016, 09:36:31 AM
Lagom, you are right.  The fact that there are people like you make this world a better place.  Truly.

My problem is that I don't care.  And I don't mean that in a stuck up kind of way, but rather, while I recognize there are others much less fortunate than myself, it just doesn't stir any kind of emotion in me.  I'll watch something about the the plight of someone in the 3rd world, but once I turn it off, the thought disappears.  I do suppose if I ever get more convicted about it, then I would voluntarily donate more.

Hey that's fair. As I said earlier, I try not to be judgmental of other people's choices regarding charity, as long as they acknowledge their privilege in being American/Australian/European, etc. and don't make up some fairy tale about how they are just "giving" so much already in taxes that they couldn't possibly be expected to give more. Of course, there are also many Americans that could really benefit from some help, and "my taxes pay for food stamps" is not a valid response to that one either, imho. But "I just can't seem to make myself care," while sounding bad and something most people probably don't want to admit, is honest enough to get me, at least, off your back.
Title: Re: POLL: Percentage of gross income donated to charity
Post by: GuitarStv on November 28, 2016, 10:15:37 AM
It varies from church to church, but a huge part of that donation is to keep the church open, not to provide charity. 
 
Umm, yeah, churches, museums, and other nonprofits need money to "keep their doors open".  So if I give money to them that I don't have to that is called charity and the community benefits because they can go to those places and benefit from their services.  Am I missing something?  You seem to have a very strict definition of charity... I would have to give money to something that is remote enough from me and my community that I don't benefit, it can't be for keeping a community facility open, etc.  By your definition if I give to NPR or wikipedia I would also be SOL because I benefit from their content and I believe their content benefits my community.  That money that keeps the church open enables weddings, baptisms, funerals, celebrations, spiritual seeking and counseling, community events, etc, etc.

And the local golf/country club? Does that count as a charity too then?  It's a facility that people enjoy the community there, where people have weddings, celebrations, etc., and the money is used to keep it open.

Hotstreak's definition of charity may be strict, but yours seems quite lax.

We all draw our own lines, is my point.  I don't see that yours is any more valid than his. :)

For many years I belonged to a Jiu-Jitsu Gym.  Every month I paid fees to it.  In return I got instruction in something I was interested in and the ability to use the facilities when they were available.  Our Gym was regularly involved in food drives and charitable works around the community because the guy running it was a decent man.  If I replaced "Jiu-Jitsu Gym" with "_____ church" I'd be able to post much higher charitable donations, even if the actual outcome from my donations was the same to the community.  That's kinda messed up.

I think that we need to redefine 'charity'.  Giving to a secular club isn't really different than giving to a church, but they're treated differently.  Either we need some way of identifying the actual percentage of the money spent giving to any organization that makes it to charitable works (and then use that to fairly identify charitable giving), or we need to stop treating any giving to groups that we benefit from as charity.
Title: Re: POLL: Percentage of gross income donated to charity
Post by: nobody123 on November 28, 2016, 10:59:51 AM
My wife and I probably give around 2% of our gross and donate a couple hundred dollars in clothing and household items every year.  My wife likes to give money to her church, charities funding cancer research, and a couple of other causes that are important to her.  She also volunteers a lot for our kids' school.  I think we should give $0 until our house is paid off, the kids are out of college, and we're FI.  I figure making sure that my family isn't a leech on society is all I should be responsible for, and once I've achieved that I can revisit my views towards charitable giving.

I never get why there is a charity debate.  Who am I to tell others how to spend their money?  I think it's ridiculous that people treat their house like a barn and pay for the upkeep of a dog or cat.  They say they love their pet and it brings them joy, so more power to them.  Same with folks giving money for the organized religion of their choice, if it makes them feel warm and fuzzy, great.  I spend my money on beer and liquor and visits to restaurants because I enjoy them.  If I got more satisfaction by donating that money to <insert your favority charity here>, I would do it.  I assume once I have "enough" for myself and my family, the satisfaction of charitable giving will rank higher on my list.  And, yes, I acknowledge that the privilege of being born in the USA lets me have this self-centered viewpoint. 

Title: Re: POLL: Percentage of gross income donated to charity
Post by: Goldielocks on December 05, 2016, 04:23:44 PM
It varies from church to church, but a huge part of that donation is to keep the church open, not to provide charity. 
 
Umm, yeah, churches, museums, and other nonprofits need money to "keep their doors open".  So if I give money to them that I don't have to that is called charity and the community benefits because they can go to those places and benefit from their services.  Am I missing something?  You seem to have a very strict definition of charity... I would have to give money to something that is remote enough from me and my community that I don't benefit, it can't be for keeping a community facility open, etc.  By your definition if I give to NPR or wikipedia I would also be SOL because I benefit from their content and I believe their content benefits my community.  That money that keeps the church open enables weddings, baptisms, funerals, celebrations, spiritual seeking and counseling, community events, etc, etc.

And the local golf/country club? Does that count as a charity too then?  It's a facility that people enjoy the community there, where people have weddings, celebrations, etc., and the money is used to keep it open.

Hotstreak's definition of charity may be strict, but yours seems quite lax.

We all draw our own lines, is my point.  I don't see that yours is any more valid than his. :)

For many years I belonged to a Jiu-Jitsu Gym.  Every month I paid fees to it.  In return I got instruction in something I was interested in and the ability to use the facilities when they were available.  Our Gym was regularly involved in food drives and charitable works around the community because the guy running it was a decent man.  If I replaced "Jiu-Jitsu Gym" with "_____ church" I'd be able to post much higher charitable donations, even if the actual outcome from my donations was the same to the community.  That's kinda messed up.

I think that we need to redefine 'charity'.  Giving to a secular club isn't really different than giving to a church, but they're treated differently.  Either we need some way of identifying the actual percentage of the money spent giving to any organization that makes it to charitable works (and then use that to fairly identify charitable giving), or we need to stop treating any giving to groups that we benefit from as charity.

I was thinking this exact same point, but from a different angle.

A Tai Chi group near me, recently received charitable status by positing itself as a religious charity.   It appears to be more of a tax avoidance so we can build expensive housing and give it for free to the chairman -- type of charity.    This is actually no different from GuitarStv's athletic club, other than paperwork...

This had me thinking about why do we allow our historic notions of religion apply to today's charitable organization status?  Perhaps a new definition / test for charitable status is in order....   

A definition that maxes out the limit of what $'s or normally taxable benefits can be assigned to the top leadership levels, and one that looks for community programs open to more than just signed up members, comes to mind.
Title: Re: POLL: Percentage of gross income donated to charity
Post by: englishteacheralex on December 05, 2016, 04:32:22 PM
It varies from church to church, but a huge part of that donation is to keep the church open, not to provide charity. 
 
Umm, yeah, churches, museums, and other nonprofits need money to "keep their doors open".  So if I give money to them that I don't have to that is called charity and the community benefits because they can go to those places and benefit from their services.  Am I missing something?  You seem to have a very strict definition of charity... I would have to give money to something that is remote enough from me and my community that I don't benefit, it can't be for keeping a community facility open, etc.  By your definition if I give to NPR or wikipedia I would also be SOL because I benefit from their content and I believe their content benefits my community.  That money that keeps the church open enables weddings, baptisms, funerals, celebrations, spiritual seeking and counseling, community events, etc, etc.

And the local golf/country club? Does that count as a charity too then?  It's a facility that people enjoy the community there, where people have weddings, celebrations, etc., and the money is used to keep it open.

Hotstreak's definition of charity may be strict, but yours seems quite lax.

We all draw our own lines, is my point.  I don't see that yours is any more valid than his. :)

For many years I belonged to a Jiu-Jitsu Gym.  Every month I paid fees to it.  In return I got instruction in something I was interested in and the ability to use the facilities when they were available.  Our Gym was regularly involved in food drives and charitable works around the community because the guy running it was a decent man.  If I replaced "Jiu-Jitsu Gym" with "_____ church" I'd be able to post much higher charitable donations, even if the actual outcome from my donations was the same to the community.  That's kinda messed up.

I think that we need to redefine 'charity'.  Giving to a secular club isn't really different than giving to a church, but they're treated differently.  Either we need some way of identifying the actual percentage of the money spent giving to any organization that makes it to charitable works (and then use that to fairly identify charitable giving), or we need to stop treating any giving to groups that we benefit from as charity.

I was thinking this exact same point, but from a different angle.

A Tai Chi group near me, recently received charitable status by positing itself as a religious charity.   It appears to be more of a tax avoidance so we can build expensive housing and give it for free to the chairman -- type of charity.    This is actually no different from GuitarStv's athletic club, other than paperwork...

This had me thinking about why do we allow our historic notions of religion apply to today's charitable organization status?  Perhaps a new definition / test for charitable status is in order....   

A definition that maxes out the limit of what $'s or normally taxable benefits can be assigned to the top leadership levels, and one that looks for community programs open to more than just signed up members, comes to mind.

Yeah, this is an interesting idea. The vast majority of our giving is to our church, and my feathers get a bit ruffled when it is called a "social club" with an incorrect assumption that we're getting something tangible in exchange for our donation. This is a consumerist mindset towards church that is, unfortunately, shared by a number of Christians. For us, we chose our church precisely because of its outward mission of charity--the church itself is a charity that helps all who express a need. The idea that we ourselves are getting something from it...let's just say my pastor's sermons are only so-so (I love him, but the majority of my spiritual guidance comes from reading and podcasts) and my faith is not contingent upon my church-going/giving. We attend, volunteer, and give money entirely because we feel compelled to help the poor and marginalized that our church has vowed to honor and help materially through its charter.

But the problem is that there are indeed many churches that are highly inward-oriented and that do function in a way as social clubs. A tax write-off is no minor thing. It's interesting to consider what baseline requirements there should be on whether a charitable donation counts as charity.
Title: Re: POLL: Percentage of gross income donated to charity
Post by: kite on December 05, 2016, 04:54:52 PM
^
Sweeping derogatory statements about organized religion are as meaningful as a toddler screaming "vegetables are yucky" while insisting their preferred diet of chicken nuggets and fries is superior to anything humans have ever conceived.  I admit, it's a bummer that so many mustachians out themselves as ignorant, but you've got to just let it roll off your back. 

Title: Re: POLL: Percentage of gross income donated to charity
Post by: robartsd on December 05, 2016, 05:37:49 PM
"Social club" charities aren't exclusively religious. Plenty of 501(c)s that are not 501(c)(3)s spend a considerable portion of the funds they receive on fund raising and often donors are given significant perks. In both religious and not religious cases, donors are supposed to deduct only the portion of their donation that is compensated by any thank you gift from the organization. I do recognize the most of the worst offenses are in the name of "religion" - in large part because protection of religious freedoms gives an extra legal shield to hide behind. However, I doubt that mustachians are very likely to be in those types of religious organizations - there are easier ways to RE than pulling the strings from the top of one of these and people who are smart enough to recognize the value of frugality are likely to see these for what they are.
Title: Re: POLL: Percentage of gross income donated to charity
Post by: Metric Mouse on December 05, 2016, 07:53:43 PM
^
Sweeping derogatory statements about organized religion are as meaningful as a toddler screaming "vegetables are yucky" while insisting their preferred diet of chicken nuggets and fries is superior to anything humans have ever conceived.  I admit, it's a bummer that so many mustachians out themselves as ignorant, but you've got to just let it roll off your back.

I like this this analogy.
Title: Re: POLL: Percentage of gross income donated to charity
Post by: sol on December 05, 2016, 08:08:31 PM
Sweeping derogatory statements about organized religion

Which derogatory statements are those?  I'm out of date on this thread, so please highlight for me.

Are you feeling attacked because someone here doesn't share your religion, or your view of religions in general?

That's okay, we're a land of tolerance here in America.  We each get to believe whatever we want to.  I fully respect your right to believe in any myth of your choosing as literal historical truth (as long as it does not actively harm anyone), and all I ask in return is that you extend me the same courtesy.  Equality means reciprocity.

Unfortunately, churches do not generally recognize the validity of any other community-based organizations offering philosophical alternatives.  Without reciprocity, I am comfortable denying them equal treatment.  Their tax-exempt status is a historical artifact that should be revoked.  Failing that, it should be extended to non-religious organizations using the same criteria under which churches qualify, whatever the hell that is.

Title: Re: POLL: Percentage of gross income donated to charity
Post by: Metric Mouse on December 05, 2016, 08:37:37 PM
I think you just gave an answer to your own question. No need to highlight a sweeping statement when your post contains at least one.
Title: Re: POLL: Percentage of gross income donated to charity
Post by: robartsd on December 06, 2016, 09:47:31 AM
Sweeping derogatory statements about organized religion

Unfortunately, churches do not generally recognize the validity of any other community-based organizations offering philosophical alternatives.
To me this looks like SOL making a sweeping derogatory statement.

True, many churches preach against some lifestyle choices that society has generally come to accept; I can understand that you do not like this and think it is archaic. However, in my view many churches are happy to work with other community-based organizations where there are common concerns. I often see see churches and community organizations working side by side in food banks and homeless shelters.
Title: Re: POLL: Percentage of gross income donated to charity
Post by: GuitarStv on December 06, 2016, 10:40:55 AM
However, in my view many churches are happy to work with other community-based organizations where there are common concerns. I often see see churches and community organizations working side by side in food banks and homeless shelters.

Yep, that's a perfectly valid point.  It's the type of behaviour that would be rewarded by implementing what I suggested:

Quote
we need some way of identifying the actual percentage of the money spent giving to any organization that makes it to charitable works (and then use that to fairly identify charitable giving)

There are churches and secular organizations that do tremendous help and outreach.  There are churches and secular organizations that don't do any.  There are many that fall somewhere in between.

It would make more sense if each organization was required to provide percentage numbers to indicate how charitable they really are.  Then tax deductions could be made on these numbers and there would be a way to actually determine if a donation is charitable.  As it is now, we call some organizations and donations charitable and others not without any real justification.
Title: Re: POLL: Percentage of gross income donated to charity
Post by: Goldielocks on December 06, 2016, 01:55:39 PM
Sweeping derogatory statements about organized religion

Which derogatory statements are those?  I'm out of date on this thread, so please highlight for me.
.....snip....

Unfortunately, churches do not generally recognize the validity of any other community-based organizations offering philosophical alternatives. 

LOL,   dry humor, I love it. 

   

For the record, SOL did not describe any church that I am familiar with... ? 

example
The next church event I am actively helping to organize is a community outreach party for newcomers and refugees (muslim and pakistani) to Canada in the past 18 months, and the people who help them, including muslims, christians (united, baptist, protestent, maybe catholic), atheists, government and community support groups, activists, Buddhists, a Hindu, Sikh, and Jews..  etc.    We are planning on it for Valentines Day, calling it "Love your neighbor" party.   (I live in a very multi-cultural area..).  seating for 200.

Title: Re: POLL: Percentage of gross income donated to charity
Post by: arebelspy on December 06, 2016, 04:28:19 PM
Sadly, many churches I am familiar with do almost zero charitable works with the money the collect from constituents.

Many of the constituents will organize charitable events or activities themselves (food drive, etc.), and use the church as a connection point to find other members willing to help/volunteer/etc.  But the church employees/leadership/etc. don't do anything, nor is any of the funds used on furthering that.

Many other churches I know do no charity other than funding their own missionaries to go try to convert others--something many people may not even consider a charitable work at all.

It's nice so many of you have churches that are active in doing charitable things.  I've seen far too little of that, sadly.

I like GuitarStv's idea of looking at what % is charitable based.  We should prorate their taxes based on that, and make it 0% taxes if it's above a certain threshold (80%? 90%?).  Then the churches you guys are talking about, that are actually helping people, can benefit like any other nonprofit who gets tax breaks.

And the faux-social clubs that gather money for their own purposes but claim tax benefits from the government won't be able to take from the taxpayers they way they are now.

I don't think churches as an institution all are this way, but I do think many exist for their own glorification/improvement, and have, historically.  The good ones are fairly few and far between, in my experience.  Again, awesome that many of you have found some of the exceptions.  :)
Title: Re: POLL: Percentage of gross income donated to charity
Post by: Metric Mouse on December 07, 2016, 04:29:22 AM
Sweeping derogatory statements about organized religion

Which derogatory statements are those?  I'm out of date on this thread, so please highlight for me.
.....snip....

Unfortunately, churches do not generally recognize the validity of any other community-based organizations offering philosophical alternatives. 

LOL,   dry humor, I love it. 

   

For the record, SOL did not describe any church that I am familiar with... ? 

example
The next church event I am actively helping to organize is a community outreach party for newcomers and refugees (muslim and pakistani) to Canada in the past 18 months, and the people who help them, including muslims, christians (united, baptist, protestent, maybe catholic), atheists, government and community support groups, activists, Buddhists, a Hindu, Sikh, and Jews..  etc.    We are planning on it for Valentines Day, calling it "Love your neighbor" party.   (I live in a very multi-cultural area..).  seating for 200.

Right? I'm not a big church goer, but I think every one I've been in in the past decade have been funding charity projects of one brand or another, building houses in 3rd world countries, sponsoring doctors to impoverished areas and sending youth to experience some of these parts of the world (which I think is immensely beneficial for young people).

No idea what percentage of income goes towards these projects, but I don't see it being massively worse than charitable organizations with a board of directors who are pulling in 6-figure salaries.
Title: Re: POLL: Percentage of gross income donated to charity
Post by: pennyhandlebar on December 07, 2016, 06:53:54 AM
I'm above 0% but below 1% most years, unless you include Goodwill donations :-)
Title: Re: POLL: Percentage of gross income donated to charity
Post by: TightFistedScot on December 07, 2016, 09:36:38 AM
We currently donate 15% of our gross income, and have a goal of scaling up to around 50% as our net worth and income increase and our expenses decrease. As I post every time I see a thread like this, our end goal is radical generosity and not early retirement. I highly recommend this paradigm shift. For the most part, it removes the tension from personal finance.

I really respect this and it is something I aspire to when I feel more financially secure. Is it something you have done since earning a salary? Are you a high income earner?

I donate to charities when friends are fundraising for something (usually a run, or a bowl-a-thon), and for the past 2 years have started making donations in my family members' names in lieu of a gift (they don't need anything). But definitely not over 3%.
I do donate my time to a lot of charitable causes, though.
Title: Re: POLL: Percentage of gross income donated to charity
Post by: Lagom on December 07, 2016, 10:23:00 AM
Some inspiration for those of you who aspire to greater giving. I just learned that my parents, who also live in the SF Bay Area (albeit with a pretty low mortgage) donate over 12% of their retirement income, which is pretty modest relative to the COL here (edit to remove details they may prefer I not share). I always knew they were charitable, but I think that's a clear example that most people can afford to give more than they think. Granted, they are already retired, but at the least I consider them an aspirational model for my own retirement budget.
Title: Re: POLL: Percentage of gross income donated to charity
Post by: redbird on December 07, 2016, 10:40:57 AM
0%. I donate time and I donate things (the latter is honestly mostly stuff I don't want anymore to Goodwill), but I don't donate money. Both DH and I see that money as money we worked hard for, and to pay for supporting us during our lifetimes. Neither of us are religious nor grew up in families that encouraged giving, so that might be partly why we think that way.

However, when both DH and I die, 100% of the money that remains after both of our deaths will go to charity. All physical belongings and real estate will be sold off and the proceeds will also go to charity. How much that'll end up being, who knows, since we are still young. We don't/won't have any heirs.
Title: Re: POLL: Percentage of gross income donated to charity
Post by: englishteacheralex on December 07, 2016, 11:29:41 AM
We currently donate 15% of our gross income, and have a goal of scaling up to around 50% as our net worth and income increase and our expenses decrease. As I post every time I see a thread like this, our end goal is radical generosity and not early retirement. I highly recommend this paradigm shift. For the most part, it removes the tension from personal finance.

I really respect this and it is something I aspire to when I feel more financially secure. Is it something you have done since earning a salary? Are you a high income earner?

I donate to charities when friends are fundraising for something (usually a run, or a bowl-a-thon), and for the past 2 years have started making donations in my family members' names in lieu of a gift (they don't need anything). But definitely not over 3%.
I do donate my time to a lot of charitable causes, though.

15% is the result of religious convictions and a philosophy about money that is different in some important ways from what I see generally on MMM's blog/forum. It took my husband and I years to get our giving to this level, and it will probably take years to get beyond it. It is a spiritual practice I consider similar to yoga, meditation, prayer, distance running...anything that takes discipline and commitment over time. I know lots of people who give a considerably larger percentage of their income away than we do. It's not a competition. Giving is hard, but it is a joyful kind of hard.

Our combined gross income is $140k. We have one child in daycare at $1030/month (about to be two at double that expense...this will set back our saving, but not our giving), and a mortgage/HOA fees of $2200/month. Last year we gave around 20k to our church and various charities, as well as people in our community that we had been made aware of who had needs we felt were compelling. We also contributed $22k combined to our retirement accounts, and have about 30k in cash that we've saved up over the years. We also put an extra $800/month into our mortgage principle.

Our basic philosophy is that our money does not belong to us, it is just passing through our hands, and we consider ourselves to be the managers of it. Awareness of needs in our community and the world makes our thrift/frugality seem not burdensome, but incredibly worthwhile.

So while the emphasis on MMM's blog/forums is that thrift/frugality serves a greater goal of early retirement, our emphasis is that we already have jobs (social work and teaching) that we enjoy and thrive in, and we would be happy to serve at our jobs or other versions of similar paid vocations for the rest of our lives if we are physically able to. Our thrift/frugality serves the purpose of leveraging the incredible good fortune we feel we have of living in a peaceful, prosperous economy to help those who are less fortunate than we are. We are not "FI" in that we wouldn't run out of money if we stopped working, but we are "FI" in that we don't feel in any way beholden to money. Our faith is in something else.

Title: Re: POLL: Percentage of gross income donated to charity
Post by: Hotstreak on December 07, 2016, 02:09:59 PM
It varies from church to church, but a huge part of that donation is to keep the church open, not to provide charity. 
 
Umm, yeah, churches, museums, and other nonprofits need money to "keep their doors open".  So if I give money to them that I don't have to that is called charity and the community benefits because they can go to those places and benefit from their services.  Am I missing something?  You seem to have a very strict definition of charity... I would have to give money to something that is remote enough from me and my community that I don't benefit, it can't be for keeping a community facility open, etc.  By your definition if I give to NPR or wikipedia I would also be SOL because I benefit from their content and I believe their content benefits my community.  That money that keeps the church open enables weddings, baptisms, funerals, celebrations, spiritual seeking and counseling, community events, etc, etc.

And the local golf/country club? Does that count as a charity too then?  It's a facility that people enjoy the community there, where people have weddings, celebrations, etc., and the money is used to keep it open.

Hotstreak's definition of charity may be strict, but yours seems quite lax.

We all draw our own lines, is my point.  I don't see that yours is any more valid than his. :)

For many years I belonged to a Jiu-Jitsu Gym.  Every month I paid fees to it.  In return I got instruction in something I was interested in and the ability to use the facilities when they were available.  Our Gym was regularly involved in food drives and charitable works around the community because the guy running it was a decent man.  If I replaced "Jiu-Jitsu Gym" with "_____ church" I'd be able to post much higher charitable donations, even if the actual outcome from my donations was the same to the community.  That's kinda messed up.

I think that we need to redefine 'charity'.  Giving to a secular club isn't really different than giving to a church, but they're treated differently.  Either we need some way of identifying the actual percentage of the money spent giving to any organization that makes it to charitable works (and then use that to fairly identify charitable giving), or we need to stop treating any giving to groups that we benefit from as charity.

Very well put. 

For me, being charitable is about giving things away without expectation of receiving any goods or services in return.  If people giving to local churches looked nationwide, or statewide, they would likely find another church that performs more charitable acts than the local church they attend.  Why not donate money to that church, while still attending the one close to home?  The answer is obvious: the payments are not intended to be charitable in nature, they're a disguised membership fee.
Title: Re: POLL: Percentage of gross income donated to charity
Post by: kite on December 07, 2016, 05:25:13 PM
Sadly, many churches I am familiar with do almost zero charitable works with the money the collect from constituents.

Constituents?
Any relation to Trump's Two Corinthians?

You and I have different ideas of what it easy to be familiar.