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Charitable Donations
Old 02-11-2006, 07:00 AM   #1
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Charitable Donations

I wasn't sure where to put this post ...so I chose "Other Topics". I know this may be a sensitive topic but what are others' opinions on the issue of charitible donations. The world has been become more complex and there are a lot of unscrupulous characters, organizations and churches out there.
I know Dave Ramsey and alot of the money philosophical "wise men"(aka gurus), say you should "give away" or tithe 10% of your earnings. This "donation" is somehow tied to your inner spiritual value to a higher order.
Just wanted to take a pulse beat from some the ER/FI folks to get their opinions.
I give regularly to organizations, fund raisers, the truly poor, but I have difficulty with the mandated 10% ordination as somehow tied to saving my"soul".
Are people on SS or fixed incomes also to donate the mandated 10%...just wondering
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Re: Charitable Donations
Old 02-11-2006, 07:26 AM   #2
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Re: Charitable Donations

IMHO giving to charity is "a good thing". You get to support the efforts you think need support. I do not give 10%, more like 5% overall but I think that all the biblical and financial gurus have a point in that giving is also part of human nature and it does open the mind and heart to give. Besides money consider giving your time and expertise, sometimes these are more precious than gold and just as good for the heart & mind.
Now, are there fakes & frauds in charities? Maybe comperable numbers to govt & industry. And giving shouldn't be threating to ones own financial security but a relfection of it. For me personally one reason I think it would be neat to be really rich is the things I could contribute substantial money to.
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Re: Charitable Donations
Old 02-11-2006, 10:31 AM   #3
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Re: Charitable Donations

We've budgeted only 2-3% of our withdrawals for charity, but when we die almost everything will go to charity.

If my crystal ball was working better we'd probably give more, but I'd feel very foolish running out of money because we gave too much of it away.

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Re: Charitable Donations
Old 02-11-2006, 11:08 AM   #4
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Re: Charitable Donations

Quote:
Originally Posted by sc
We've budgeted only 2-3% of our withdrawals for charity, but when we die almost everything will go to charity.

If my crystal ball was working better we'd probably give more, but I'd feel very foolish running out of money because we gave too much of it away.
Exactly.

We'll give $20 to any kid with the guts to ring our doorbell and make a charity pitch, but we haven't really nailed down how we'll donate to charity. It seems more fiscally responsible to make sure that we don't end up BEING a charity, and then to donate posthumously.

In the meanwhile I'm much more comfortable helping people with my donated time.
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Re: Charitable Donations
Old 02-11-2006, 11:41 AM   #5
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Re: Charitable Donations

Quote:
Originally Posted by ferco
I wasn't sure where to put this post ...so I chose "Other Topics". I know this may be a sensitive topic but what are others' opinions on the issue of charitible donations. The world has been become more complex and there are a lot of unscrupulous characters, organizations and churches out there.
I know Dave Ramsey and alot of the money philosophical "wise men"(aka gurus), say you should "give away" or tithe 10% of your earnings. This "donation" is somehow tied to your inner spiritual value to a higher order.
Just wanted to take a pulse beat from some the ER/FI folks to get their opinions.
I give regularly to organizations, fund raisers, the truly poor, but I have difficulty with the mandated 10% ordination as somehow tied to saving my"soul".
Are people on SS or fixed incomes also to donate the mandated 10%...just wondering
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Re: Charitable Donations
Old 02-11-2006, 11:45 AM   #6
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Re: Charitable Donations

At our income/net worth level, there is little room for
charitable giving, although DW gives pretty freely
on a personal level to the less fortunate. I am considering leaving my youngest daughter's share
of my estate to The NRA, if she doesn't shape up.
Guess that would qualify.

JG
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Re: Charitable Donations
Old 02-11-2006, 12:21 PM   #7
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Re: Charitable Donations

I take care of my friends and family. Zero overhead, 100% pass through of the "benefits" and no leeches.

After I saw the article on the goodwill regional ceo who was taking almost a million a year I gave up on giving money or stuff to anybody I dont know. I'd almost rather throw it away than line someones pocket under the guise of a charity. :P
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Re: Charitable Donations
Old 02-11-2006, 12:26 PM   #8
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Re: Charitable Donations

Quote:
Originally Posted by (Cute Fuzzy Bunny)

After I saw the article on the goodwill regional ceo who was taking almost a million a year I gave up on giving money or stuff to anybody I dont know. I'd almost rather throw it away than line someones pocket under the guise of a charity. :P
Exactly how I feel, when I'm able I'll give my time but I'm not making some fat cat desk jockey any richer. For now I'm helping family when I can which at this point is helping to fund college for my nephew and help out with grandfathers prop taxes.
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Re: Charitable Donations
Old 02-11-2006, 03:55 PM   #9
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Re: Charitable Donations

Quote:
Originally Posted by (Cute Fuzzy Bunny)
I take care of my friends and family.* Zero overhead, 100% pass through of the "benefits" and no leeches.
Yup. DanTien had a good thread on this question.
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Re: Charitable Donations
Old 02-11-2006, 05:37 PM   #10
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Re: Charitable Donations

I feel like I am donating to charity when I buy into the total stock market index funds (never thought I'd say this). When I read about the fat salaries and bonuses the CEO's are getting that feels like charity.

I'll leave a good chunk to charity once my partner and I no longer need it.

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Re: Charitable Donations
Old 02-11-2006, 08:38 PM   #11
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Re: Charitable Donations

Our charity money goes to small, local organizations. If there's anything left after DH and I are gone, then it goes to set up a scholarship fund at one of the local colleges. (not that I've told the college about this
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Re: Charitable Donations
Old 02-11-2006, 11:18 PM   #12
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Re: Charitable Donations

I'm still donating, but a smaller amount since leaving the work force.
I donate to a local food bank.
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Re: Charitable Donations
Old 02-12-2006, 07:17 AM   #13
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Re: Charitable Donations

Donating is important. I also want my donation going to the needy, not the greedy. Heres a fine cause http://fallenheroesfund.org/fallenheroes/index.php

If you wouldn't donate here, then where?
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Re: Charitable Donations
Old 02-12-2006, 07:56 AM   #14
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Re: Charitable Donations

Most of my giving goes directly for the needs of my grandchildren, father, in-laws, etc. Since that has become a bigger and bigger burden as the "old folks" get older each year (all three are into their 80s now), there's been little left over to give to organized charities...and I'm not sure how much I trust them to use the money properly anyway. We did give to the Hurricane Katrina and Rita relief drives but that was mainly because the Katrina victims were so visible here in Houston and we ourselves lost a small second home to Hurricane Rita so we knew how it felt.

I prefer to give "time" to the larger charities when possible because I feel that I can actually make an impact that throwing my money into a big pot might not accomplish.
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Re: Charitable Donations
Old 02-12-2006, 11:48 AM   #15
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Re: Charitable Donations

I give about $200 a year to my alma mater and the rest goes to an organization for folks with mental disabilities (the ARC). My uncle has down syndrome and my family has been involved with them for 50+ years. Sometimes a few bucks to my colleagues' kids who are fundraising. I think I only donated $750 in '05, but I'm poor and not RE.
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Re: Charitable Donations
Old 02-12-2006, 12:25 PM   #16
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Re: Charitable Donations

About heifer.org:

Like some others here, I have made them my main charitable donation. I like the concept, but...

does anyone have any *real* inside knowledge if the money is used well? I'm not talking about heifer sourced info, or magazine articles, but real first (or second) hand experience. I want to believe all is well with them, but how do we know the animals don't get stolen the second they leave? I don't expect perfection, there are bound to be some bad stories, but overall, does the 'pass on the gift' really work more times than not?

I've thought about signing up for one of their travel programs, but the skeptic in me says they will show me only what they want me to see. Anyone know?

Thanks, ERD50
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Re: Charitable Donations
Old 02-12-2006, 09:21 PM   #17
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Re: Charitable Donations

We normally give about 10% after taxes and the 401K is maxed out. I'm still on full pay continuation so will continue this rate till that ends. Almost all of it to local organizations that I work closely with and know where the money is going (building house, feeding the poor, etc).

I'm still trying to decide what to do when we start drawing on our retirement. Since we plan to live on less than half of our old income, I figure the giving will at least drop in half. The problem is we plan to be flexible on how much we draw and spend depending on how well our investments are going. I'm leaning towards dropping to around 5% of the new lower income and then in a good year write a few checks at the end of the year. Bad years we all cut back.

Jeb
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Re: Charitable Donations
Old 02-13-2006, 01:05 AM   #18
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Re: Charitable Donations

Quote:
Originally Posted by ERD50
About heifer.org:
Well, I have not been out in the field with them in remote locations but I have met a lot of Heifer people and worked on their county fair booth and met all the local folks paid & volunteer and they seem like great folks to me. I do send them a part of my charity money. I have also met people who they have supported from Africa and rural parts of Asia. They have been around a while and any group that has has a history that will come out. Some overall good groups like Red Cross and United Way have had their problems but I know of no such problems at Heifer. They, like most charities, get audited about what % of contributions are used on administration and fund raising and heifer looks pretty good. The staffers I know are barely paid, particularly since they have professional qualifications. Its good to check out who you send your checks to but by everything short of being on their board I can say they look good to me and I am a real skeptic in this. I was on the board of the CFC (Combinied federal Campaign, a federal Govt version of United way) and I got accuntomed to checking out charities. We looked at books, met people and looked at field work. Its not hard to see who is being "productive". and, again Hefier looks good to me.
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Re: Charitable Donations
Old 02-13-2006, 05:08 AM   #19
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Re: Charitable Donations

Hello,
we support 2 children through an organisation that we feel comfortable with.
I started that when I went to university. In the beginning it was more a deal with my good fortune like "As long as I can finance myself someone else should benefit, too".
Life has been good to me, so I carried on.
Apart from that we make donations when we feel like it, at bonus time or when there is a cause that we feel strong about.
In Germany church contributions are automatically deducted from salary like your taxes if you are a member. So I would count this as well.
Still much less than 10% but I do not take this number as target.
Chris
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Re: Charitable Donations
Old 02-13-2006, 09:08 AM   #20
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Re: Charitable Donations

Living on 25% of our peak income, charity is one of the items I drastically reduced in the budget. Most of our charity dollars have typically gone to local arts organizations, public TV and radio, and my husband sometimes gives to political candidates, but we have also donated to Heifer, literacy organizations, and disaster relief. We periodically donate books and other household stuff to our library and other local organizations, and I sometimes buy tickets to charity events/fundraisers such as the annual historic house tour sponsored by the Charleston Symphony Orchestra League. Since I retired last year, I volunteer at our local hospital, and I'm open to being inspried by another volunteer opportunity. The largest single donation we ever made was to our local middle school in the Mission (Latino) District in San Francisco to purchase string instruments and an art display case, and the second largest was to a theatre group, also in the Mission District.
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