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December 02, 2010


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For the past decade we've given at least 10% of our income away per year. It's now about 13% of my gross.

I haven't donated as much time since I discovered blogging, but we actually donated more money this year than ever before. We are some of the lucky ones in this economy and know to be thankful and giving.

About the same if not a little more.

We know too many people who are struggling and need help and we help as much as we can.

I don't necessarily give anything to charity, but I give a significant amount to my extended family.

I had my hours cut (from about 10-15% over down to 40 hours/week), which, if it keeps up, will result in my primary charity losing out on the annual raise I give them that coincides with the annual raise I typically receive.

I have been volunteering more of my time instead. (After all, I've got more of it)

I havent' added it up but I am pretty sure our cash giving is up a little bit this year over last year. Last year we gave away a lot of household goods to goodwill but gave less this year, but thats only because we gave them all our excess 'stuff' already.

Well, I think the itemized deduction limits that go into effect in 2011 will also impact charities moving forward. If you can't deduct your contribution, then I can see that affecting the way many people give.

I personally strive to give more every year.

There are a number of charities that are on my banned for life list because of their unscrupulous tactics of selling my name and hounding me for additional funds. If someone does not honor my request of not being contacted more than 1/year, they are off the list forever. I once had a charity call me less than a week after giving my initial donation for more money. Um..didn't I just give you money last Thursday? I'm glad these tactics are backfiring on them.

Our giving has increased each year. Like many others, we do some switching in the organizations that we support.

I was not aware of the itemized deduction limits effective in 2011.

Interesting. I would guess that reason #3 is really reason #1 for most folks, but perhaps they feel guilty admitting it? I agree with you, if it's b/c the charity asked for too much then move on to another charity, that shouldn't mean you reduce your giving total.

We have not reduced our giving at all. In fact, we are giving a little bit more. We also started a "generosity budget" where we have extra money each month to give to individuals in need, or just to bless others financially. It's been a huge source of joy for us!

I sit on the board of two charities and donations are down. The groups are working twice as hard to try and raise the same amounts. Events that raised 500k now raise 300k. Major donors are half or zero. Uncertainty in the future kills donations.

Personally, my giving is about the same but it hasnt increased.

I used to give a lot to various charities & NPR years ago when I was single, but after several years I got sick of them wasting my donation by mailing me every week asking for even more money. Now I "give" primarily to my kids' college accounts, donate stuff to goodwill, and I occasionally buy things and give cash directly to family members in other states who I know really need it.

Like Mary I too am not aware of any change in itemized deduction limits for 2011. There were proposals discussed to change how the limits work but thats all I saw. I don't see anything about a new law passed.

My giving is the same as last year, in terms of money. Over the past year I have been volunteering pretty regularly at my local animal shelter, and I volunteer at races like the NYC Marathon, so I feel okay about my financial contributions which are only .66% of my base salary. I guess I could up it a little bit.

Last year my husband was unemployed for a while and we had to put some of our giving on hold. When he got a new job, we made one priority making up the charitable donations that we'd had to skip (in addition to the ones we would usually do) since we know how much demand places like the Food Bank have had in this economy. In general I try to increase our giving by a little every year.

Before this year I gave 10% regularly to the church, supporting 2 children overseas, or Christian radio programs. I did not count any monies I gave to the church in terms of food for the Ministerial Alliance food bank or giving to other things, non-church type. I have never itemized, so I didn't need to keep track of them.

This year I have set up a budget of 20% of my income. Each month I use that money as needed. I still give the first 10% to the church or Christian programs, but the other 10% I use where needed. I gave last month and this, $100 to our Neighbors Helping Neighbors program for a needy family, $75 to the County Food Bank to buy gallon baggies needed to fill from 25# bags of rice.

I do realize that many of you count your time as a donation and that is truely generous. But I never count it as part of mine. It is my job, as a Christian, to help wherever and whenever I can. That is over and above any tithe or donations I make. We are to share in the working of Christ's kingdom and to help others, no matter who they are or what they believe. It is a dual job - one I've been grateful for. And, since I am retired, I have much more time to give.

God has blessed me richly and I will trust him for whatever comes next in life, including the fact that, at 73, I have no long term care. One of his blessings has been good health. I was not blessed with enough money to pay for long term insurance. I have 2 children who will do all they can for me and I am trying to be so prepared that it won't cost them too dearly.

I can see how #1 might be true, given that the stat is referring to those whose gifts average over $50K. In that range you aren't talking about people who are bothered by too many letters in the mail requesting $100 this year instead of $50. People who give at that level are buying tables at events (which must then be filled with friends), putting their names on a sponsorship (which usually entails a lot of duties), etc.

A lot of charities have racheted up the fundraising and become more bold/aggressive in the face of budget shortfalls - which means those donors are probably being hounded by increased requests for higher amounts. And when fundraisers from all sorts of charities are all asking for a little more than you're comfortable with (after you just gave X amount last year), it becomes all too easy to just say no.

I used to give to more charities but stopped feeling good about it when they would annoy me by calling or requesting another donation a week after I had already donated. I am helping out another family member in need with money every month, so that is my "charity contribution" although it is not tax deductible.

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