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View Poll Results: How much do you give to charity each year?
Less than 1% 55 30.90%
1 - 3% 25 14.04%
3 - 5% 16 8.99%
5 - 7% 11 6.18%
7 - 10% 21 11.80%
10% or more 50 28.09%
Voters: 178. You may not vote on this poll

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Poll:How much do you give to charity?
Old 09-18-2021, 10:34 AM   #1
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Poll:How much do you give to charity?

I see there hasn't been a poll here about charitable giving in over 10 years, and a recent thread got me wondering about it. Of your annual spending, how much goes to charity each year? Feel free to post any details about your charitable giving once you've voted.
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Old 09-18-2021, 10:47 AM   #2
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The total amount varies.
I do have three consistent charities plus faith based.
Local Humane Society
A world wide medical/disaster--this year is Medical Teams International
A Cancer charity--this year is St Jude
plus
Goodwill donations for household goods and usable clothing

will sometimes throw in a potlitical donation.
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Old 09-18-2021, 10:48 AM   #3
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I'm counting from spending and not roth conversions or money movements.

My charitable giving was giving $$$ to my poor sister so she would have some $$ to spend.
I considered it my private charity, and of course it was not tax deductible for a variety of reasons.
It was needed (I felt) because her pension just managed to cover her monthly fee at the supported living place. But she still needed prescriptions, dental, toiletries, clothes, etc..

I followed the motto charity begins at home

<edited> Also do Sally Ann donations, my way to repay them for the help they gave me when I was homeless.
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Old 09-18-2021, 11:36 AM   #4
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It's going to vary. A lot.

I've recently adjusted my plan to give large amounts to charity via QCD in my 70's. The tax-beneficial nature of this approach means about 42% more to the charities than they otherwise would receive.

My charities are chosen based on their effectiveness. I focus on basic needs for children and disadvantaged. I prefer root cause efforts. So top four currently on my list are Samaritan's Purse, Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption, Shriners Hospital for Kids, and Save the Children. There are a total of 14 on my current list.
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Old 09-18-2021, 11:50 AM   #5
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This year I donated $28 K via QCD. It makes a lot of sense, as I would have to pay tax on it otherwise.
Here are my donations:
Homeless shelter
Religious institution I belong to
Local Food Bank
Angel Flight West, since I am no longer flying.
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Old 09-18-2021, 12:52 PM   #6
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For those of you giving more than 1% to charity every year, how do you determine the amount (or percentage) to give? I'd like to increase my giving, but I don't have any sense of what the right amount should be. I know there is no actual "right" or "wrong" or "too little", but just knowing how others are viewing it will help me.
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Old 09-18-2021, 01:14 PM   #7
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Percent of what? Net Assets? Income? Assuming income, for those retired what do you consider income? All withdraws or only pension and SS?
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Old 09-18-2021, 01:15 PM   #8
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This year I gave about $70,000:

My local church: $44,000
Local Christian College's Scholarship Fund: $15,000
Local Christian Pregnancy Center (Abortion alternatives): $7500
Children Inc. Guatemalan Child Sponsorship $610
Local UGM Mission: $500
Missionary Sponsorship: $500
and miscellaneous other small occasional amounts

Amounted to about 55% of annual income. Most of it done via QCD from IRA.
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Old 09-18-2021, 01:21 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SALTedOut View Post
Percent of what? Net Assets? Income? Assuming income, for those retired what do you consider income? All withdraws or only pension and SS?
I'll say, for the purposes of this poll, percent of annual spend. I think this is the best metric for early retirees.
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Old 09-18-2021, 02:10 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sojourner View Post
For those of you giving more than 1% to charity every year, how do you determine the amount (or percentage) to give? I'd like to increase my giving, but I don't have any sense of what the right amount should be. I know there is no actual "right" or "wrong" or "too little", but just knowing how others are viewing it will help me.
There really is no right amount. It is really a personal call. Though we budget a certain percent, we really do not try to base our giving on that, it is more situational. For example, when I was working, some of my income was bonus based. I tended to donate a higher percentage of those bonuses to charitable causes or situations than my regular paycheck.

It is also based on the interactions we have in the world. DW and I have both volunteered in organizations that help us to see into the lives of the less fortunate, and we see and learn of situations that create the desire for us to give.

Our giving includes both tax deductible and non-tax deductible items. The combination has almost always been over 10%. How much over varies by year. Our only IRS audit (so far) was due to the volume of charitable contributions we claimed. Of course we had all the necessary paperwork so the audit was a breeze .
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Old 09-18-2021, 02:18 PM   #11
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I didn't see an option for "Nunya dam bizzness"
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Old 09-18-2021, 02:19 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sojourner View Post
I'll say, for the purposes of this poll, percent of annual spend. I think this is the best metric for early retirees.
That's how I interpreted it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sojourner View Post
For those of you giving more than 1% to charity every year, how do you determine the amount (or percentage) to give? I'd like to increase my giving, but I don't have any sense of what the right amount should be. I know there is no actual "right" or "wrong" or "too little", but just knowing how others are viewing it will help me.
The largest single amount of my giving is to my church. My decision there is informed by a few considerations. First, I know how much they need each year - it is a fairly large Congregational church and we have an annual meeting every January where we review the budget in detail and vote to approve it (or not, sometimes). While only one person in the church (and it is not the pastor) knows precisely how much each of us has pledged, the stewardship committee does prepare a list of how many pledging units (a unit is a family or a single person) fall in a range of amounts. Since I am probably one of the wealthiest in the congregation, I always try to keep my pledge in the top range, because I know I can afford it better than many young families in congregation. On the other hand, I don't think it healthy for the life of the church if only a few people pay the bills; everyone in the congregation needs to feel ownership. So I pledge a little over triple the average and provide about 1% of the budget, and I increase every year to account for inflation. This past January, after the annual meeting, I increased my pledge by 33% to meet a shortfall caused by many people being out of work and unable to pledge anything. Then I consider whether I can afford it. So far, that has not been a problem for me.

I'm only two years into retirement, so I'm a little cautious still. I will likely loosen the purse strings as my concerns about SORR abate.
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Old 09-18-2021, 02:20 PM   #13
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We have given to various charities through the years, mainly food banks for several decades and for the past few years to a shelter for victims of domestic violence. We also contribute yearly to Gary Sinise Foundation for wounded veterans of the military. No fixed percentage.
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Old 09-18-2021, 02:32 PM   #14
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0%. I'm just going into my 3d year of FIRE. I'm not confident my numbers are correct due to DW blowing the budget. My current charity is keeping her happy.
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Old 09-18-2021, 02:38 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sojourner View Post
I'll say, for the purposes of this poll, percent of annual spend. I think this is the best metric for early retirees.
I interpreted it as percent of "annual income". I see "income" as different than "annual spend".
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Old 09-18-2021, 02:40 PM   #16
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Up to 2019 our charitable giving was around 8-10% of our total spending.

In 2020 we had to cancel most of our fun travel and we knew people were hurting, so we raised it to about 20% and increased the breadth of our list of recipients.

So far in 2021, it has been about 13% and will increase by end of year to probably 16-17%.

Most of it is done anonymously through our DAF with Fidelity because I hate to get on those gimme lists.
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Old 09-18-2021, 02:43 PM   #17
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Old 09-18-2021, 02:44 PM   #18
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Gumby,
Bless you for what you are doing. I agree that everyone should contribute to some degree. We recently had a fundraiser for a new website, and while I could easily cover the cost, I said that I wanted others to feel they contributed. I told the designer. i would make up the difference between the contributions and the cost, which I did.
I also got the budget for the annual fundraiser, and donated an equal amount. In both cases, I requested that my donations be anonymous.
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Old 09-18-2021, 02:47 PM   #19
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Originally Posted by travelover View Post
I didn't see an option for "Nunya dam bizzness"
That would be the unlisted, ever-present option of not voting in the poll.
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Old 09-18-2021, 02:48 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RetireeRobert View Post
I interpreted it as percent of "annual income". I see "income" as different than "annual spend".
Since OP clearly spelled out the parameters as percent of annual spending, why don't we stick with that?


Quote:
I see there hasn't been a poll here about charitable giving in over 10 years, and a recent thread got me wondering about it. Of your annual spending, how much goes to charity each year? Feel free to post any details about your charitable giving once you've voted.
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