How much $$ did you donate to charity in 2010?

Non-investing personal finance issues including insurance, credit, real estate, taxes, employment and legal issues such as trusts and wills

How much $$ did you donate to charity in 2010?

Less than $500 (including nothing)
82
22%
Less than $1,000
31
8%
Less than $1,000
31
8%
Less than $2,000
47
13%
Less than $2,000
47
13%
Less than $5,000
48
13%
Less than $5,000
48
13%
Less than $20,000
21
6%
Less than $50,000
12
3%
$50,000 or more
9
2%
 
Total votes: 376

Topic Author
livesoft
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Post by livesoft »

exigent wrote:Actually, based on the numbers that you ran above, it looks like people here are much stingier than the average of $4600. I realize that was a back-of-the-envelope calculation, but still... 30% gave $500 or less? Wow. I'd say that's remarkable, but in the wrong direction.
Be careful. I think you have to ignore the "$500 and less" category. Look at those IRS stats again. Only 39.25 out of 48.2 itemized returns actually had charitable donations claimed. That is, 19% of the folks who could very easily throw a dog a bone actually did not. That 19% was not used to figure the $4600 average.

And the IRS stats tell us nothing about folks who did not itemize.
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david99
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Post by david99 »

For some of us it will be deferred giving--- although I do give to charity every year. I'm frugal, a good saver, and financially savy (thanks to this site) so I'll probably leave a nice chunk to charity when I die.
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fundtalker123
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Post by fundtalker123 »

There's a poor old guy, riddled with debt and illness, called "uncle sam" who I give the largest portion of my charity to
Topic Author
livesoft
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Post by livesoft »

That might be a fun poll: Ratio of charitable donations to Federal income tax owed. I'm sure many people are above 1. That is, they donate more to charity than they pay in income taxes. This would not be hard since something like 30% of American families pay no income taxes.
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Sheepdog
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Post by Sheepdog »

livesoft wrote:That might be a fun poll: Ratio of charitable donations to Federal income tax owed. I'm sure many people are above 1. That is, they donate more to charity than they pay in income taxes. This would not be hard since something like 30% of American families pay no income taxes.
And I am one of those. From 2006 thru 2010, I gave 8 times more to charities than I paid in federal income tax. (My annual taxes in that period went from $100 to $600)
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RenoJay
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It was an unusual year

Post by RenoJay »

usually it's $2,000 or so, but I did a big Roth conversion in 2010 so to lower the tax boom, I gave $50k to a charitable endowment. I get the tax benefit now, but can distribute the money over time. Pretty cool.
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wander
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Post by wander »

Don't know. I've dropped the money to the baskets here and there.
grberry
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Post by grberry »

livesoft wrote:That might be a fun poll: Ratio of charitable donations to Federal income tax owed. I'm sure many people are above 1. That is, they donate more to charity than they pay in income taxes. This would not be hard since something like 30% of American families pay no income taxes.
More to charity than to federal income taxes: yes.
More to charity than to state+federal income taxes: no, but close.
More to charity than to income taxes, payroll taxes, property taxes, excise taxes, sales taxes, use taxes, and other taxes: not anywhere near close, maybe about half...
cjking
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Post by cjking »

I remember someone (Joan Rivers?) saying "how do I know what I can spare? I'm not dead yet."

Giving and tipping seem to be American cultural oddities, things that no other society does to the same extent.
rai
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Post by rai »

i'd give a lot more if my taxes weren't so high :wink:
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rai
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Post by rai »

fundtalker123 wrote:There's a poor old guy, riddled with debt and illness, called "uncle sam" who I give the largest portion of my charity to
40% of my money goes to healthcare and benifits for other and/or paying off national debt and foreign aid, subsidized mail delivery etc.
"Life is what happens to you while you're busy making other plans" - John Lennon. | | "You say that money, isn't everything | But I'd like to see you live without it." - Silverchair
Grt2bOutdoors
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Post by Grt2bOutdoors »

rai wrote:
fundtalker123 wrote:There's a poor old guy, riddled with debt and illness, called "uncle sam" who I give the largest portion of my charity to
40% of my money goes to healthcare and benifits for other and/or paying off national debt and foreign aid, subsidized mail delivery etc.
How did you get off so cheaply? :wink:
lambdapro
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Post by lambdapro »

I checked off one box because I was considering the cash that goes to "IRS" deductible charities. However, in the big picture I believe in getting personal with assistance and I provide shelter (modest lake house) and vhicle to a vietnam war veteran. I consider that my own way of doing my part to help him not use public assistance.
I encourage all to be creative in giving.
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sieber
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Location: Champaign, IL

Social concerns

Post by sieber »

Retired, wife works part-time making 25k and our net worth is mid 6 figures.
Gave over $20,000 last year to church and local agencies that help others. That's 20% of our income for the year. Yes, higher than most years but 10% is easily met.

Most polls show that percentage paid to church/charities is higher for less well off folks. Those of you who think you will start to give when your in a better financial state are only kidding yourself.
Topic Author
livesoft
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Post by livesoft »

@sieber, I tend to agree with you, but now that you are retired perhaps you can comment: Were you giving away 20% of your income when you were younger and not retired? I imagine there was more uncertainty in your life when you were 30 or 40 years old.
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Cosmo
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Post by Cosmo »

sscritic wrote:I am trying bunching for this year, so what I normally would give in December, I gave in January of this year. Then I will give again in December. If it works, I will take a break in 2012 and continue to give only in odd numbered years.
Good call; I do this with my property tax as well.
sieber
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Post by sieber »

Certainly 20% is even high for us but we usually met 10% of our take home pay. It's a mind set that allows one to give.

I need to thank this group for teaching me how to manage my finances over the years. I have always felt fortunate to have the retirement that I have considering the following: Wife only worked full time for 3-4 years, our 2 kids went to private/church colleges (costly) and we gave 10% yearly to church/local charities.

My highest salary was $85k.
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cjackson0
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Post by cjackson0 »

Cash gifts were very modest this year, but we give away almost all of our old books, kids clothing, and anything else that can be reasonably reused. Although H&R Block's software probably overestimates the 'thrift-store' value of many of our items, I don't feel too bad about the number they come up with.

I hope to increase it 2012 when we have a larger emergency fund, but I realize I may be just telling myself that.
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BL
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Re: Social concerns

Post by BL »

sieber wrote:Most polls show that percentage paid to church/charities is higher for less well off folks. Those of you who think you will start to give when your in a better financial state are only kidding yourself.
I tend to agree. Also, there is quite a difference between frugal and stingy. You can still be generous while being frugal. It is a matter of priorities.

Itemizing federal deductions may not work if you don't have high mortgage interest payments. However, some states let you deduct part of your donations from taxable income.
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ruralavalon
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Post by ruralavalon »

EmergDoc wrote:Kind of depressing to compare this poll to the net worth polls we do on here. 3/4 of Bogleheads (about half of which are millionaires) give less than $5K a year? Surprised I guess. I honestly thought $10K would be the average, not $1K.
I had the same initial reaction, but I then recalled that many Bogleheads acquired a high net worth on a middle class income and that most would be donating to charity out of current income rather than out of their retirement savings.
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bradshaw1965
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Post by bradshaw1965 »

I'll leave it at, I wish I stuck to my percentage goals for charitable giving as well as I do my IPS. I think I need to put a plan of action in place to have my giving as automated as my investing.
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White Coat Investor
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Post by White Coat Investor »

cjking wrote: Giving and tipping seem to be American cultural oddities, things that no other society does to the same extent.
There are lots of great "cultural oddities" in American, this is only one of them.
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RadAudit
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Post by RadAudit »

seiber makes a good point. I've always heard, of those that donate to charity, the poorer individuals give a higher proportion of their income than the rich.

It's a matter of priorities and personal choice.

If you can get by after saving 10% to +20% of your income for retirement, it is difficult to argue (convincingly) that you can't afford to give something - time or money - to charity. Especially, if you figure that one of the goals cited on the forum is early retirement. How much would a 1/2 of 1% reduction in (a 10% to +20%) contribution to a retirement fund delayed retirement? Would a SWR been put at excessive risk?

Not that I'm any less guilty than the guiltiest among us when coming up with a good rationalization for not giving more to charity than I currently do.
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HomerJ
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Re: Social concerns

Post by HomerJ »

sieber wrote:Those of you who think you will start to give when your in a better financial state are only kidding yourself.
Maybe. Maybe not.

You sure as hell don't know me.
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