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Old 11-10-2018, 12:14 PM
 
773 posts, read 202,097 times
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I am specifically interested in the thought process for monetary contributions.

Do you come up with a percentage of gross income to budget for all donations?

I consider certain donations somewhat obligatory such as those for supporting your church, child's school, etc.; but with respect to non-obligatory donations where there are ad hoc requests from neighbors, friends and acquaintances, do you vet requests and donate based on the worthiness of the cause and/or to be well thought of by the requestor?

Does tax deductibility impact the amount of your donations?

Do you think this will change (or has it changed) upon retirement?

If you donate your time, is that in lieu of monetary contribution?

In my case, I used a percentage of gross income for obligatory type donations and then try to estimate an additional flat amount for ad hoc requests. When we retire this may change based on reduced income and tax status. I usually vet most ad hoc requests based on not for profit tax returns and causes meaningful to me. I do struggle with those requests that I do not feel are the best use of my money or worse, think the fundraiser has dubious value, but do not want to turn down a friend or neighbor's request. Sometimes I let my heart rule over my head but I don't have a consistent rationale. I have a situation where a friend is requesting on-going donations of a sizable amount is creating a dilemma.

What do others think and do?
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Old 11-10-2018, 12:32 PM
 
Location: We_tside PNW (Columbia Gorge) / CO / SA TX / Thailand
22,379 posts, read 39,695,573 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Maddie104 View Post
I am specifically interested in the thought process for monetary contributions.

Do you come up with a percentage of gross income to budget for all donations? NO

...

Does tax deductibility impact the amount of your donations? NO

Do you think this will change (or has it changed) upon retirement? No, been Retired for over 10 yrs, set up a DAF (Donor Advised Fund) in my 30's, Use that for gifting and tax planning

If you donate your time, is that in lieu of monetary contribution? No, Time + Money (As available)

... I do struggle with those requests that I do not feel are the best use of my money or worse, think the fundraiser has dubious value, but do not want to turn down a friend or neighbor's request. (I only consider the cause and the benefit to recipients, NEVER the requester / promotions.

Sometimes I let my heart rule over my head but I don't have a consistent rationale. I have a situation where a friend is requesting on-going donations of a sizable amount is creating a dilemma.

What do others think and do?
I think you need a overall plan. (Same with all financial planning)

Set your giving objectives and stick with it, Adjust the plan infrequently, and ONLY for good reason (due to evaluation of your priorities / available time and money)

Set aside a small % of your overall gifting for 'solicited needs', (flexibility and freedom)

Work the plan.

I don't do % of gross on gifting.

How much do I need? (I live frugally)
Can the remainder help someone else?
Is the cause consistent with my gifting plan?
Is the cause worthy of an exception? (If so... how much, how long? can be yrs and even decades)
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Old 11-10-2018, 01:02 PM
 
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Easy. I donate zero.
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Old 11-10-2018, 01:58 PM
 
Location: NJ
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we primarily donate things that benefit the town. mostly supplemental money to improve the education system.

my wife does a good amount of donating by participating in fundraiser events. she is primarily doing it for fun but they are fundraisers so they count.

if a friend asked, i would just tell them that i donate a certain amount to certain charities and dont allow myself to donate elsewhere.
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Old 11-10-2018, 02:57 PM
 
Location: Wooster, Ohio
1,026 posts, read 776,451 times
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Less than 4% of my net income. Most of it goes to my church. I give a little to a couple of colleges and a couple of public radio stations.

I also donate a little bit to the NRA_ILA each year. I'm not sure the amount I donate covers the cost of all of the requests for additional donations. That's why I no longer make political donations.

Don't provide your telephone number or Email address to the places you donate to. If you do, you'll be sorry. Use a black magic marker to cover your telephone number if you donate by check.

Churches tend to get on this 10% tithing kick. #1, it's not biblical. #2, the choice is not between what I give now or 10%, the choice is between what I give now or nothing at all.
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Old 11-10-2018, 03:05 PM
 
Location: Philadelphia/South Jersey area
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My church I give consistently the same amount. then I have three other charities that I regularly like to support.
I do also give on a dime (excuse the pun).
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Old 11-10-2018, 03:25 PM
 
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we only donate money/time to local charities.
our definition of local: being able to drive to their headquarters in less than an hour.
that covers a five-county area. we go there and write them a check. no mail no card.
while there we ask about volunteering. usually there is something going on closer to home.
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Old 11-10-2018, 05:48 PM
 
1,857 posts, read 625,513 times
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I try to keep my giving in line with my travel budget although giving has exceeded travel the last few years. In 2017 my charitable donations were 17% of my AGI- but how can I post form Business Class airline lounges in Europe and then claim I can't donate a lot because I'm a retired widow? I've been blessed.

A lot of it is the church pledge. We're working on getting membership up but that's a slow process and in the meantime we have to pay the mortgage. Many of our members are scraping by. I'm not.

The rest is an amount I allocate every month from the budget and that's to be used for whatever comes up- a friend or relative doing an athletic event, a GoFundMe I trust (even though it's not deductible), anything else that strikes me as important. I am grateful I no longer have to pretend I care about the United Way. The major charities don't get any of my money. I do donate to a local shelter for people fleeing domestic abuse.

I donate a lot of time to the church and yes, it helps to be close enough to the charity to see what's being done with your money.

Finally, I do have a donor-advised fund, which I set up when I received a signing bonus at my last job. What I LOVE about that fund is that I can donate anonymously. It's still deductible- you tell the to write the check and as long as it's a legitimate charity they will- and you can request that they tell the recipient that the donor wishes to remain anonymous. I've sent a couple of $1,000 checks to a charity that got aggressive and called me looking for more donations after I sent them a check. Must drive them nuts now to get checks for $1,000 and not be able to ask for more.
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Old 11-10-2018, 06:53 PM
 
773 posts, read 202,097 times
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I'll have to look into donor-advised fund to minimize the repeated solicitations. thanks.
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Old 11-10-2018, 07:32 PM
 
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I donate old clothes, etc.
Giving 10% of your money to the church is for suckers....and theres plenty suckers in this day and age....sad...
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