Poll

What percentage of gross income do you donate to charity each year?

Nothing: I have debt, view taxes as my contributions, donate non-monetarily, etc
83 (26%)
1-3%
138 (43.3%)
3.1-6%
36 (11.3%)
6.1-9.9%
18 (5.6%)
10% or higher
44 (13.8%)

Total Members Voted: 315

Author Topic: POLL: Percentage of gross income donated to charity  (Read 21340 times)

human

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Re: POLL: Percentage of gross income donated to charity
« Reply #100 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.

human

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Re: POLL: Percentage of gross income donated to charity
« Reply #101 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.

human

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Re: POLL: Percentage of gross income donated to charity
« Reply #102 on: November 26, 2016, 06:12:17 AM »
That is the common refrain we hear about religious organizations and it just proves their hypocrisy.

human

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Re: POLL: Percentage of gross income donated to charity
« Reply #103 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.

human

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Re: POLL: Percentage of gross income donated to charity
« Reply #104 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.

human

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Re: POLL: Percentage of gross income donated to charity
« Reply #105 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.
« Last Edit: November 26, 2016, 06:56:27 AM by human »

robartsd

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Re: POLL: Percentage of gross income donated to charity
« Reply #106 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.

Lagom

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Re: POLL: Percentage of gross income donated to charity
« Reply #107 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.

GuitarStv

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Re: POLL: Percentage of gross income donated to charity
« Reply #108 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.

nobody123

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Re: POLL: Percentage of gross income donated to charity
« Reply #109 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. 


Goldielocks

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Re: POLL: Percentage of gross income donated to charity
« Reply #110 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.

englishteacheralex

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Re: POLL: Percentage of gross income donated to charity
« Reply #111 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.

kite

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Re: POLL: Percentage of gross income donated to charity
« Reply #112 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. 


robartsd

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Re: POLL: Percentage of gross income donated to charity
« Reply #113 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.

Metric Mouse

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Re: POLL: Percentage of gross income donated to charity
« Reply #114 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.

sol

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Re: POLL: Percentage of gross income donated to charity
« Reply #115 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.


Metric Mouse

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Re: POLL: Percentage of gross income donated to charity
« Reply #116 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.

robartsd

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Re: POLL: Percentage of gross income donated to charity
« Reply #117 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.

GuitarStv

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Re: POLL: Percentage of gross income donated to charity
« Reply #118 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.

Goldielocks

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Re: POLL: Percentage of gross income donated to charity
« Reply #119 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.


arebelspy

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Re: POLL: Percentage of gross income donated to charity
« Reply #120 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.  :)
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Metric Mouse

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Re: POLL: Percentage of gross income donated to charity
« Reply #121 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.

pennyhandlebar

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Re: POLL: Percentage of gross income donated to charity
« Reply #122 on: December 07, 2016, 06:53:54 AM »
I'm above 0% but below 1% most years, unless you include Goodwill donations :-)

TightFistedScot

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Re: POLL: Percentage of gross income donated to charity
« Reply #123 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.

Lagom

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Re: POLL: Percentage of gross income donated to charity
« Reply #124 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.
« Last Edit: December 07, 2016, 11:33:19 AM by Lagom »

redbird

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Re: POLL: Percentage of gross income donated to charity
« Reply #125 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.

englishteacheralex

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Re: POLL: Percentage of gross income donated to charity
« Reply #126 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.


Hotstreak

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Re: POLL: Percentage of gross income donated to charity
« Reply #127 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.

kite

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Re: POLL: Percentage of gross income donated to charity
« Reply #128 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.