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What percentage of your gross income do you normally give to charity every year?

likefunny
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@BCG 1: seconded on both!

If anyone is questioning a charity’s/cause’s effectiveness, Givewell is a great resource to look into. They conduct research and quantitative analyses to ensure that charities are operating efficiently, avoiding harming the local economy, having a positive effect on the issue at hand, and still have monetary bandwidth for donations (can they still use add’l funds efficiently or are they maxed out?)

I would also encourage everyone to look into the concept of Effective Altruism. As good as it feels- oftentimes, our time is not what organizations need to do good (sometimes it is, but still always good to evaluate), or maybe we’re accidentally engaging in “voluntourism” or replacing an important part of the local economy. Conversely, sometimes our money goes further given to certain charities over others (even in the same cause). 🙂

likesmart

In the past I’ve done 10% (after tax). The last year or two, I’ve only done like 2-3% but plan to go for 10% again this year. I think wherever you start it’s a great thing for everyone to challenge themselves to be more generous every year. I set a budget for it and track it month to month so if I didn’t give my allotment, I give it all at the end of the year towards causes I find important. Tracking it that way helps keep you accountable to your goal. Also knowing “oh I am $50 under my charity budget from last month” allows me to live a little more open to opportunities to be generous around me. I had a friend who had their clarinet stolen and they were a poor grad student so I was able to help them buy a new one, or treating a homeless person to lunch etc. Just having that money undeployed helps you look for fun ways to assist and bless other people. It’s just a more fun way to live - I’m trying to get back into it after not doing it for a while (MBA, wasn’t making $), but I really recommend it!!

likeuplifting
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I donate my time by volunteering. There’s no way in hell I’m giving actual money given that charities always turn out to be the biggest frauds.

likefunnyhelpful

I like the way KPMG does it over the way EY did it. We are able to select any 501c3 charity in the system (or have it added if it's not in there) and payroll deduct that way. No corporate bulk donation systems to generic "charitable organizations" unless that's what you want to do.

like

None, Uncle Sam already taxes me for welfare. Isn’t that charity?

likefunnyuplifting

SM3 - social security? Really?? You may as well call that 20% “charity” - I’m dumping money into that fund which everyone knows will run dry well before my generation retires. Another wonderful piece of longevity planning from generations before me.

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0%

likesmart

The more I have give, the more my bank account has benefited. For me, the more I trust God with my finances the more I benefit. Benefit isn’t exactly the right word but give and trust, you will see the positive results. Not forcing this upon anyone but this has been true to me and my beliefs.

likeuplifting

Love this! I sometimes forget that there are other people in this industry that hold similar values

like

I send money to family in home country at least 2-3 times a month

like

ZS, Whst is "more than equivalent"?

like

Muslims holding above a certain threshold of wealth are required to donate 2.5% of the cash value of their assets every year. I practice it and like it because it becomes a habit, it keeps me humble about the transience of my worldly possessions and I can see the impact it directly has on people (I usually try and give it directly to deserving families in third world countries)
On a monthly basis outside of that I don't have a set figure but I usually try and give about 5%

Have to say, very surprised by people's responses on this thread in the best way possible.

likeuplifting

Z4. Even if only the charitable replied I'm still surprised to see there were that many

I read a stat that Americans donate about 4% of their income to charity, on average. Considering I am better off than most Americans, I think I can afford to give more as well.

I have recurring donations that amount to about 3.5% of my income, which is not a lot... I am aiming to do 5% after I research more on causes I am passionate about. Next promotion/raise, I will increase further.

likehelpful

This is dated, but backs up the 3-4% ntl average figure: https://www.philanthropy.com/article/Giving-in-the-50-Largest/241357

like

0%. Charity begins at home. Once in a while I slip a 5 into the box at the cat shelter

likefunny

Same here... although I usually leave my small change in the box at Rite Aid if I want to get it out of my pockets.

funny

About 11% gross, or about 19k. I check charity navigator to make sure the charities are run efficiently and not scams; currently I give a lot to give directly, though a big chunk this year to the clean air fund, because I am worried about climate change.

I don’t volunteer because I don’t expect my skills at sorting cans or clothes to be particularly valuable, and it seems better to donate cash so they could hire a full time person, who would be more efficient and reliable, plus provide that person with a job. I did volunteer in the past.

likesmart

Hm, looked up bpeace, looks like a good idea! Any good tracking of the effect? Though, I’m not in the classic biz consulting track at ZS so they probably don’t want my advice. :) I did volunteer in a situation that used my particular skills, but it was the worst managed project ever and I went back to my thought of “just give cash”.

For people saying they donate 15%, are you really donating to charity or more like sending money to your family? 15% purely to charity is quite generous. Good for you!

like

I actually donate 15%. ~12% to effective charities (mosquito nets, direct cash transfers, etc.) and then another ~3% to charities that are less effective but are meaningful to me (e.g. disaster relief after a major event, arts funding, etc.)

likesmart

I don’t think of it as a percentage of my income. Instead, I pick a cause and try my best to support it - be it time or money.

I have been sponsoring the education (and basically the daily life) of two young teenage girls in India. So I give them:
1. My time - by visiting them during my yearly trip home, by writing them letters every couple of months to keep in touch with them
2. Money and resources - I sponsor these girls through an NGO and I pay them a usual amount every year. On top of that, for festivals and special occasions like birthdays I send small gifts plus extra cash that goes fully to the girls. I also give them my old clothes/bags/shoes that are still in good condition and they are always thrilled to receive them :)

like

We budget 6k every year towards charity. We don’t give to charity but we send directly to people who meet one of the requirements
1. Serious health issues
2. Smart students who can’t afford education in India ( as dollars go long way)
3. Helping smart kids who need help up to 1000 dollars for books in US

We keep on saving unused money and sometimes there is a big need for someone where all that money comes handy

likeupliftinghelpful

0% for now, served in the military and can hold off on the “giving” for a while

likeuplifting

D5 -all that extra cash from my retirement and disability is currently tied up funding the lifestyle I couldn’t afford as an underpaid member of our military. I don’t feel bad about being selfish with my money. I’ve sacrificed a lot to get to this point.

funnylike

For those 10% and above... What are you donating to? That would be $10,000 at least, right? $200 a week.

I usually do a few hundred for a cause, maybe every month? That just seems like an enormous amount (10%) but maybe be I'm a total miser.

I'm at $200k+ and would guess my donations max out at 5%.

like

I agree w you SM1! Kuddos! I’m only at $110k but still really try for the 10%. It’s tough sometimes but I do agree giving is some of the most fun you’ll have w money. I leave a certain portion of my “charity” dollars as just generosity dollars where I can use them to be extra generous to people - buying a friend who doesn’t make much a car repair they really need, taking a homeless person for lunch, really helping people when they need it. It’s such fun and nothing compares. I give to church and other charities as well.

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I’m not proud but technically it’s probably -1% given that I help myself to the collection jar at church.

funnylike

30% in Income Tax ;)

likefunny

If you are paying 30% you are doing it wrong

12% of every check to church:10% tithes and 2% offering. Other causes receive ~2%. I also do community service 2 Saturdays of every month. To whom much is given, much is required!

likeuplifting

Never thought about it was a percentage. Typically do $75-100 every month across a few different charities.

like

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