Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Would you tithe for a year?

For realz.

Do you tithe, first of all? Do you give 10% to your church (pre-tax).

If not, would you "tithe" charities for a year. What would it take for you to regularly give 10% of your pre-tax income to charities? What would you give it to?

44 comments:

Petunia Face said...

At first glance I thought you had a lisp. Tithe? Um, no. Though I do give to charity, just not on a regular percentage basis. Which I guess makes me a real thit.

Anonymous said...

Already do. No. Not to church. When I turn up to service once in a while, I put a $50 on the Collection Plate and consider it my due.

But, I give 5% of post-tax income - that includes my investment income - to charity.

Although I don't agree with some of the points made in this article, I absolutely agree with the overarching argument: we're all so rich that it's disgusting to not give a significant portion of our money to help make the world better.

http://www.nytimes.com/2006/12/17/magazine/17charity.t.html?_r=1&oref=slogin

Anonymous said...

http://www.google.ca/search?q=new+york+times+charity+billionaire&ie=utf-8&oe=utf-8&aq=t&rls=org.mozilla:en-US:official&client=firefox-a

Anonymous said...

I don't know the exact percentage, but my husband and I tithe about 10% between church and charities that help the homeless, plus a few other orgs we think do meaningful work. This is the first year we've ever given to a political campaign, because Palin's popularity scares the shit out of me.

Amanda said...

We tithe to our church (as well as a few other non-profits). I don't think it is 10%, but we do raise our pledge every year 10%. Interesting topic!

Anonymous said...

This is the first year I've given to a political campaign.

I don't like giving to big organizations, especially organized religion.

I try to be generous with the people I come into contact with everyday; that is what makes me feel I am contributing to my community.

june*monkey said...

I used to tithe to a church, when I used to be religious (as a teenager with a part-time job, actually)

And for a while I did give a percentage of my income to charity instead (although not 10%)

Now, though, I have a daughter that is involved with so many local arts and neighborhood groups, and I give them money. I guess it's not as altruistic, since we are benefiting directly--but on the other hand it feels better to be contributing locally, to work I can see everyday.

Leslie/Miss Havisham said...

Im an ethicist for a non-profit so I feel like I've done my god damn part so step off my grill. I also don't have any MONEY OH MY GOD ITS SO AWFUL WHY IS SAN FRANCISCO SO EXENSIVE??!

Any who I like to give a small amount to American Library Association during Banned Books week (sept. 27, btw)but other than solicitations from my rich all white private all girls high school no one wants anything out of me.

I think I was about 16 when I watched this Oprah about this doctor who devotes her life to fixing Fistulas in women in Africa. It's some sort of vaginal/urethral/anal tearing that happens from giving birth too young and with inadequate medical care. These women are seeping waste and their husbands and communities drive them out like lepers. I think I cried for about five hours and then begged my mom to give me a check to send them "PLEASE GIVE ME FIVE HUNDRED DOLLARS TO FIX UP THESE GIRLS' LEAKING VAGINAS....MOMMMMMMMMM!!"

thevintagechair said...

My husband and I both tithe 10% of our paychecks to our church every month. I've also been wanting to find a charity we both believe in to donate to.

amymezzell said...

I do tithe to my church, but it's not 10%. We make sure to not do that much so we feel free to give to other charities and donate to organizations when things come up throughout the year. We all have more money that we need even if we feel like we're struggling.

I also try and participate in some sort of service projects here and there because tithing doesn't have to be money; it can be of your time, too.

Anonymous said...

I hope people realize that making regular payments to God do not guarantee them a box seat in so-called Heaven.

Anonymous said...

anon 7:20

How do you know?

amymezzell said...

I'm not worried about it being my golden ticket to Heaven. I just know we should help the poor and needy with our overabundance of resources, and to me, that's obvious whether you're religious or not.

Anonymous said...

I think my husband tithes enough for both of us, although I can't say this for sure.

Myself, I don't tithe because I don't go to church. This is because I don't really believe in God. But of course my husband doesn't know this.

skywaykate said...

What brought this up, Decorno?

I have always wished to have a patron so that I can spend my time doing good works, volunteering at non-profits and in the community at large, where my experience, knowledge and enthusiasm would be able to far outweigh the money I would give said non-profits because I could pick and choose what fits my skills best, across multiple non-profits.

decorno said...

Well, I was speaking with my neighbor who works in one of Seattle's poorest elementary schools. And I asked her what people could do to help - like maybe volunteer to tutor, etc.

And she just sighed and told me that people always want to help with time. They think that it's more noble, like it shows that they care more if they do that vs write a check.

But she told me that what they really need is money. They already have volunteers. She also suggested, if you have a kid in a richer school and are planning a field trip, get an extra bus and take a class from a poorer school and combine resources.

Despite the economic news lately, a lot of us make a good amount of money, relative to most of the country. I've been wondering lately what is my obligation to make sure I am doing enough. If that means writing checks, I want to be doing that. Kind of a moral wake up call, I guess.

Anonymous said...

I do not tith as I am not christian. consider that when you give to your church. Many use the money to entice people in converting to Christianity. A real story: In a village of extremely poor fishermen, who religiously follow their religion, there is a "wishbox". People are encouraged to write their wishes on a paper and drop it int his box to see if some God called Jesus will grant their wishes. In a few days the poor fisherman will suddenly find that a new boat has miraculously appeared on his property. Yes, he is told that Jesus is a God of miracles and will grant hsi wishes and find him apalce in heaven. So he is will convert to christianity.

It boils my blood.

Anonymous said...

Great to read, Decorno.

And, let's not forget, we don't just make good money compared with many in the rest of our own country, but we're obscenely rich when compared to almost the entire world.

And, yeah, I agree completely that money is the most important thing to give.

decorno said...

So true. Goes without saying... but I am glad you said it. :)

Anonymous said...

Anon 1PM - that's not Christianity; that's superstition and charlatanism.

...love Maegan said...

I would give it to an eco charity (already do) or animal charity ...but I would NEVER give it to a church EVEREVEREVEREVER

this one said...

i am suppose to tithe 10% to my church but i am not very good at it.

i do however give 10% to updating my wardrobe. generious, i know.

tithing said...

Tithing is a controversial subject, but i believe in spirit led giving. i don't believe we are obligated to give a certain amount. We are to be sacrificial and cheerful in our giving. that is about the only direct command i see in the new testament bible.

- Jared

jen said...

i used to tithe 10% of all my "increase" to my church - that means income, bonuses, birthday money, money you make on a yard sale, etc. Because of that, I never gave to charity. Now that I'm not religious, I love the extra 10%, but I still don't give to charity. I think my issue, along with many other people - we don't want to just write a check because you never know if it will trickle down to the people that need it. At least when you're volunteering your time, you know it's making some small impact.

Anonymous said...

My husband and I have always tithed 1/3 of our net salaries. We choose the various organizations that receive our donations. it's a simple formula that works for us.

Right now, our combined salaries are $50,000. After donating, putting the other 1/3 towards savings, we're left with very little to live off of.

I'm a firm believer that whenever one does any sort of good,helping in any capacity, one NEVER tells another soul.

So many of our friends and family think we're really cheap and frugal with our lifestyle. Little do they know that we live on a very tight budget so we can donate that one third.

Christine in DC said...

I'm too cheap and selfish. I give to the church and to charity, but nowhere near 10%.

Christine in DC said...

Anon 6:46-you're my hero. Really, that's impressive. I am always miserable at budgeting--especially to allow for charitable contributions. bravo!

Anonymous said...

You asked what charities we support. I try to give at least $1K to a few charities, because I find that fewer donations leads to less junk mail in the months and years to come.

Some charities I've given to during the past few years have included:
- an organization that focuses on the needs of my city's poor; I asked that my money be used for their soup kitchen
- Meals on Wheels
- Red Cross
- a neighbhorhood nursing home that cares for people with Alzheimers

decorno said...

Jen - what about just writing a check to a family that badly needs it? Then you know exactly the people on the receiving end? Would that work?

Anonymous said...

anon 6:46, you're my heroine, too! Just wondering how you became so philanthropic. Did your parents raise you this way; did you have an experience that taught you that it was the way you wanted to live your life; is it because of a religious influence...?

I truly am curious. And deeply impressed.

s. said...

Jen, not all charities are created equal! If you volunteer at a not-for-profit place, and see up-close-'n-personal that people in need are being served, wouldn't that help you know that your financial donation would really be used to make a difference?

Anonymous said...

Sorry - I meant to post THIS article!

http://www.nytimes.com/2006/12/17/magazine/17charity.t.html

Seriously... it's worth reading!

Anonymous said...

We give at least that much.
Often looking for ways to be thrifty, so that we have additional money to give when another need arises.

Anonymous said...

I tithed to church when I went to one I liked - not 10% but a good chunk. Now I am a heathen but my non-heathen husband goes and donates but doesn't tithe.

I like to give money to the public school to band or whatever and it goes directly for new uniforms, etc. Also local soup kitchen, fire dept.

I donate to Americares every year because 98% of its overhead goes directly for aid. I don't donate to United Way or American Cancer Society because the overhead of those organizations is as much as 35-90%, depending who you believe.

When my daughter was young, my first husband had cancer. The week before Christmas, he would dress up like Santa and she dressed up as an elf and they would take presents to the kids in the Cancer Ward. I couldn't go because I would cry.

We also used to get names of needy families in town and buy their Christmas gifts and just drop them on their doorstep on Christmas Eve and ring the doorbell and run away. Local schools used to have that information. I don't know if they're still allowed to do it due to privacy.

Also, if you celebrate Christmas, you can buy Christmas gifts for kids who'd otherwise have little or nothing, through Salvation Army. I love doing that.

Anonymous said...

Yes. We try to give 10% to our church, but don't always succeed. I have never thought tithing gives anyone a golden ticket or a box seat. I just believe in the work my church does.

Anonymous said...

to anon 4:07 - i work for united way of king county in seattle and i just wanted to say that our operating cost is only 4.1%, a fact which we are very proud of. though each united way is different, each works incredibly hard to be as efficient with donations as possible. and any united way would be more than happy to answer any questions about their overhead costs. we like it when people ask us!

Anonymous said...

To answer those that referred to me as Anonymous 6:46 - - -

I don't consider myself as a heroine at all, but thanks.

I've never really given it much thought, but I guess I could attribute my deep need to give from my parents. During my entire middle school and high school years, my Mom always took me with her when she did volunteer work. We'd work at various organizations three days a week after school.

Sometimes my blood does boil when people make comments about our "cheap" lifestyle. Also, I'll receive annoyance when asked to whip out my check book, when I know I've already faithfully given.

It's always a reminder to never, ever judge anyone. One never really knows what another is doing behind the scenes.

David said...

I work for a commercial insurance brokerage and our people generally make great money, and some of them make REALLY great money. At Christmas each department adopts a family or families through an area school district.

The families give us the kids sizes, but always tell us what they need most. Last year the boy in my family (7 years old) needed socks and a sweatshirt. I bought him two outfits, socks, a parka, gloves and a stocking cap, and legos. Gift receipts for everything so if something wasn't right, they could get him something that is.

The thing that's so great is that it's not just me that does that, everyone in the office does. We generally spend a full day wrapping and labeling packages alone. It all gets loaded into a caravan of SUVs and delivered to the school, who gets it to the families.

Boyfriend and I have everything we need and most things we want. We buy each other gifts, but the thing at work is just about my favorite part of the holidays.

s. said...

Sweet story - thanks David. Most 7 year-olds I know have so many toys and games that they don't have room for them all, and yet they scream daily for the latest gadget or thingimajig. I hope their parents read about "your" little boy who just really needed socks and a sweatshirt...

jen w said...

yes, my husband and i tithe 10% of our income to our church. and because we feel lead, we also give different amounts of monthly support to friends who are doing missions work and raise support for their salary.

our reasons why:
1. we don't think of it as a sacrifice. that 10% comes off the top before we ever think of how we'll spend our income each month.
2. the money's not ours to begin with. the reason we give is because God has enabled us to have it in the first place. it's really all His, He just graciously allows us to keep that 90%
3. it's an act of thanks and obedience. we're commanded to give that 10% and over and above that if we feel so lead. and we don't see it as giving to a particular "church" - wherever we attend we will give that 10%.
4. we are blessed in our giving. i've never ever missed having that 10%. we've never gone without yet.

Anonymous said...

You know, I sit on some boards of not-for-profits, and I've always been amazed by how many people are dying to join boards, sit on committees, be on the selection juries... basically, how many people are more than happy to spend OTHER peoples' donations.

But, ask these eager beavers to kick in a few $K and suddenly they have other commitments.

Please know that really, your "expertise" is probably not worth as much as you'd like to imagine. Cold, hard cash is the most welcome, almost without exception!

Liv said...

I do tithe 10% pre-tax to my church every paycheck.

And since my mom taught me when I was little, I also put 10% into my savings every paycheck.

And then when I really want to buy something but have bills to pay, I usually take that 10% back out of savings. hee.

kristin said...

I don't tithe at the moment, but feel the deep need to. My church also has a humanitarian aid fund that I want to give to. Maybe if I started going to church, I would. Or if I gave, I would go to church. I also think it's important to give to charities, but I do it so infrequently. I work at a non-profit, and I think I rationalize that my marginal pay is service enough. I remain unconvinced.

Thanks for your post, anon 6:46. Despite your conviction about not telling anyone your good deeds, I think sharing that was a great thing to do. I'm going home tonight and discussing finances with my man using you and your husband as an inspiration.

Anonymous said...

Its funny to me that when most people go in to a store that is offering a sale of 10% of retail they think that is offering them nothing in savings- but when God asks for 10% of what they make they think it is everything they have-