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Just How Much Should You Give to Charity? – A Lot Depends on Your Comfort Zone

So you’ve made the important decision to give money to charity, but you’re still wondering how much should you give to charity. After all, the money is your own, you worked hard for it, and now you’ve decided to give it away. Should you just give a few bucks? Maybe just a percentage total of your income? Or maybe just take a little bit out of your paycheck each week? When it comes to how much should you give to charity, the answer really is one that is personal, makes sense for you and your income, and is something that you are passionate about.

The Average American Gives 2.2%

How much should you give to charity? Well, the average American donates just 2.2% of their paychecks each year to tax exempt organizations. In real monetary terms, that is just $0.22 out of every $10.00 that they made. Doesn’t seem like much, right? After all, many of us buy lunch each day for ourselves, which costs at least $5 in most instances. A large portion of this 2.2% every year also ends up being impulsive donations, such as donating $10 on your cell phone bill or stuffing change into a kettle.

How Much Should You Give to Charity? The Church Says 10%

Just how much you should give to charity might be dictated to you upon your religious convictions. Many churches request that their members donate 10% of their income back into their faith and some require that 10% go to the church first and then additionally more on top of that if you wish to go help other organizations. In real monetary terms, that means $1 out of every $10 would go to a charity if you chose to follow this route.

How Much Should You Give to Charity? Target Donation Goals Are 5%

Maybe you’re not religious in nature or don’t agree with the tithing policy – that’s ok. Just how much should you give to charity is one of those questions of a personal nature where you have to decide how much is right for you and your situation. Many non-religious charities have a target goal of asking you for a 5% donation, or in real monetary terms, fifty cents out of every $10.00. Maybe that amount is right for you.

Give Primarily to Just One Charity

Just how much should you give to charity? Well, whatever you have decided, whether it is 2.2%, 5%, 10%, or your own amount, it is important that you don’t diversify your donations, or spread out the money you are donating to a lot of different charities. An organization can’t really use $40 a year from you – however, an organization can use $2,000 from you. Therefore it becomes important to choose a charity that reflects your beliefs, is able to spend 70%-80% or more on actual mission work over administrative costs, and you know exactly what your money is going to be used for.

How much should you give to charity is an important life and financial decision to be making – whatever the amount you decide, just know that what you have decided to do will have a long-lasting, positive impact on others, and nothing is more important than that.

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