Tis the season… to donate half of your income?
Many people talk a lot about giving to charity, especially this time of the year. I personally do not give a very large percentage of my income to charity. When friends or acquaintances are requesting donations for a cause, I always donate something. Other than that, I must admit to being a bit miserly, something I would like to change. (Or more honestly, something I say I’d like to change, but haven’t made any real progress on changing.)
I was reading a celebrity gossip magazine (and I’m not ashamed to admit it!) this evening, and came across an article about people or families who gave away over 50% of their income or net worth. The featured people were not anyone special: a woman who made just $16k last year, a man who earns $200k and gives away a whopping $162,000 of it, and another woman who inherited over half a million only to give it away. Check out Bolder Giving to read about more people who are extremely generous. Their mission “ is to inspire us to give at our full potential by providing remarkable role models and practical support.”
I am not giving to my full potential. It isn’t though I’m spending selfishly, I just have other goals that I’m putting ahead of charity. Building up my emergency fund. Paying off student loans. However, these goals aren’t mutually exclusive to giving to charity. In my defense, I volunteer about 1 hour a week at Big Brothers Big isters. Still, I feel that I could give more. So, what am I going to do about it? I will start small, and donate 1% (minimum) of my income next year. To those who tithe (or those who are simply more generous than I), a mere percent may seem laughable, but it is more than I contributed this year. It is a start, right?