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About eight years ago (yes, I've been blogging too long) I posted an entry asking who among my friends donates to charity and why. In that entry I was trying to prove that my religious friends donated, therefore religion was a good thing.

Since then I think I've gotten slightly less religious, in that I'm not sure God cares whether I donate 10% of my income to charity, I don't see myself being kicked out of heaven for it. But I still have that goal because I need a goal, and quite frankly I just like it. I think being generous is important, good for me, forces me to budget a bit, and there so many very worthy causes. I've grown in my attitudes toward charity a lot in the past few years. And the funny thing, I think my friends list has too... when I blog about charity I no longer get as many comments along the lines of "I don't have to donate I pay my taxes and it all goes to freeloaders..." and that sort of crap. I don't feel like a freak for supporting my causes. I don't think it has anything to do with religion, but I'm not sure what it does have to do with.

So I'm reposting the poll here. Let's see what's changed.

Poll #1947444 charity

When it comes to charities...

I donate a significant portion (more than 5%) of my income to charities
I don't donate a significant amount, but I'll throw a few dollars in the direction of a good cause when asked
I make shopping decisions based on moral principles
I donate money on a regular basis (it's budgeted)
I donate money for specific events (like natural disaster relief)

What causes do you support the most with your time/money?

Educating children
Feeding the hungry
Helping animals
Supporting minorities
Saving the environment
Protecting human rights
Spreading the word of God
Disaster relief
Providing culture and art
Curing diseases
Political causes or candidates

If you donate a significant amount (more than 5%) of your income, what's the biggest reason for that?

My religion
It's just a good thing to do
I feel sorry for people
I want a tax deduction
I have too much money
Does not apply because I do not donate a significant portion


( 10 comments — Leave a comment )
Dec. 10th, 2013 04:43 pm (UTC)
I'm answering this for what we do as a couple; I make too little, so if it were just me I wouldn't be able to donate hardly anything. But, since I have a sugar-daddy, we are able to donate a lot more. This also means that if I just look at my income we donate probably about 50% of my income LOL. But we also aim for around 10% of the total.

Between the two of us we support a whole slew of causes.
Dec. 10th, 2013 07:17 pm (UTC)
when someone else looks at how much we donate it's probably looks minuscule, but it's the most we can donate at this point in time. And it's probably a cultural/religious thing too! It's not in us to give money (unless it's buying gold for the temple, ridiculous, in my opinion, because the devout feel the money should be used by the temple not for other purposes!! But that's religion for you, well, that's human interpretation gone wrong!)! But giving of food, clothes and items is part of daily life.

Donating money/time is a good thing in itself. Religion helps boost the number I think! Sikhism really incorporates service into its religion. Not monetary donations but actual time individual gives.

I'd much rather donate my time. I think because I am not doing that these days, I feel donating money is a good alternative.
Dec. 10th, 2013 07:32 pm (UTC)
One of the things I love about being employed (and one of the reasons I want a full time job again) is being able to donate to causes I believe in. Plus… I've done a 180 on my beliefs in my life and I want to make up for the causes I supported then by the causes I support now.
Dec. 10th, 2013 07:41 pm (UTC)
I don't donate money, generally speaking, but I donate a huge amount of my time, to a pretty wide variety of organizations.
Dec. 10th, 2013 07:47 pm (UTC)
I think the last individual's comment about donating time is an important one as well.

I was an armchair supporter of causes - throwing money at problems when I felt I wasn't doing enough and decided to become involved with the cat rescue. I now spend some time each week helping in various ways and I'm glad I'm able to find the time to fit this in.

I'd like to do more for other causes - I try to volunteer time to help at youth leadership and development events that are held a few times a year at work too.

Keep feeling I should be doing more. Just need to find the time and the right organization to get involved with.
Dec. 11th, 2013 02:37 am (UTC)
To elaborate, I donate more value in time than I do in cash. I volunteer with a number of charity organizations and also run fundraisers at work which raise way more than I could ever donate. My cash donations generally go to educational organizations and food banks. As my time becomes more scarce and (hopefully) money less so, the balance will shift.
Dec. 11th, 2013 02:59 am (UTC)
As far as what I donate towards "helping people". I'm much more likely to donate when asked for a specific person/cause--ie: my car broke down and I need the cash, or I'm running a kickstarter to fund my own business. We are still paying off student loans, but one of my BIG goals once we get those gone (about 1 more year!) is to donate a set portion of our income (5% sounds about right) each year. I'd like to have fixed donations to certain causes and then a "free" amount each month to give as my bleeding heart desires. Certain causes would include our local food bank, animal shelter, library, public radio station...I feel like there are more on this list but those are the biggies. The monthly amounts would go to specific people/causes/etc.
Dec. 11th, 2013 04:05 am (UTC)
Query: Does giving to my own church count as charitable giving? It is tax deductable as such, but it directly benefits me to have the lights on and a minister in the pulpit.
Dec. 11th, 2013 04:10 am (UTC)
Also, how does one figure in the "support through shopping" dollars? I spend quite a bit extra on ethically raised meat, eggs, and dairy, for instance. Does that differential count, or no because my local farmer is earning a wage from it?
Dec. 14th, 2013 06:23 pm (UTC)
When I was a kid, I loved donating parts of my allowance, whether it be to the Salvation Army guys or getting my mom to write a check to the World Wildlife Fund or PBS. The only things I refused to donate to were church, because that already felt like a chore, and anything college-related, because I knew that I'd be suffering under college debt someday, and thought it would be better to save it for myself if it were going to college.

Now that I'm out of college, I have some $55,000 in debt. (It used to be more, but I've paid a lot.) I'd like to donate more, but just like the above college graduate posters, I'm not going to feel comfortable writing multi-hundred dollar checks to anything until that debt is gone.
( 10 comments — Leave a comment )

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