Wednesday, November 27, 2013

How Much Can I Give to Charity?

Giving to charity is not limited to just your funds. While charities do rely on your money to help them succeed and help them do what they've set out to do, they need more than just your money to work effectively. Charities also need your time.

When deciding how much you should contribute to your favorite charitable cause, there are some considerations you have to examine. There is no standard amount of money or time you should spend on your favorite charity; each case is unique.

How much is appropriate?

If you're an avid churchgoer, you know you're supposed to give 10 percent to charity. However, most Americans don't give anywhere near 10 percent of their income to charity. Most Americans give far less, in fact.

The average amount of charitable donations over the course of one year in the average household is 3.2 percent. While it might not seem like much, many families give what they can afford to and they do it happily. It's not always a greed issue.

Consider what you can afford

Before you pledge 10 percent of your income to charity, consider what you make versus your expenses. The sad reality is that most average households cannot afford to donate 10 percent of their income to any charitable foundation, after all's said and done.

However, that doesn't mean you can't afford to give to charity at all. Even if you can afford only a few dollars here and there, every little bit helps -- even when you're on the strictest of budgets.

Give charities your time

Another way in which you can donate to charity is with your time. Charities need volunteers to help run their programs. They need people who are willing to serve, to help, to teach, and to work hard to make sure those in greatest need are getting what they should.

While financial giving is nice, if all you have is time, it's just as valuable to most charitable organizations.

Giving to charity is a highly personal financial decision. If you can afford 10 percent, by all means do it. If you can afford more than that, good for you. However, if all you can afford is a few hours of time every week, it's just as much appreciated by a charity as your money.

Giving comes in many forms. Financial giving is the most talked about, but it's not the only way you can provide a charity with your help.

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