Give Til It Feels Good… REALLY?
M y wife, May Pon, was a good tax accountant. Smart and “community minded.” She passed away in the Spring of last year. I told my newly hired CPA to just “go with the same deductions for me, that May had applied for 2018.” For this year I decided to “be the grown-up,” and make my own choices. I’ve found that this is as much fun as learning how to “do your own lobotomy.”
Since people tend to like money, to varying degrees, I was surprised by the lack of websites about “How much your neighbors or countrymen give to charity.”
Asking both of my friends, I find that “tithing” is not a word in their dictionary. One close family member, smarter than me, said “Oh hubby and I just give 5% of our income to charities" — I like that, for it’s simplicity. Then I “ran the calculation” in my head, and got a headache at the thought of parting with so much of my “comfort zone.” Then came the invasion of “the Peace of Mind” snatchers, the news on the internet and tv of all the misery in the world, including our country — now, more than ever.
So, still seeking that “Joy to the World” feeling, I went back to the computer, hoping that I would find proof that “Tithing” or even “Half-Tithing” is nuts in today’s "Inflated Prices” world.
Then, sadly, the vestiges of my mind kept churning on “How Can I Get Validation” for “Giving in the Four Digit Neighborhood,” aka “How to avoid “The 10 K“ world.
Since people tend to like money, to varying degrees, I was surprised by the lack of websites about “How much your neighbors or countrymen give to charity.” Then it occurred to me that it is only fear of you thinking I am a cheapskate or a braggart that inclines me, and you “to dummy up” about our own numbers. Sex, politics, cooking, sports, sure...lets talk. My wallet and who gets a piece — if anyone — nobody’s business!
I’ve not found any data on the internet about the trends that show what my neighbors donate, darn it, and so I wrote a simple Survey that I am asking you to, anonymously, take. Google tells me that their Google Docs software guarantees to preserve “respondent anonymity.” I will send you the proof of this, along with the Survey.
You decide if it is safe.
I will share the results. Only answer the questions you are comfortable with. I believe that Google does not want its reputation ruined by my “Ten Cent Survey.”
Here are the questions that will be in my little Anonymous Giving Survey :
- Your age, marital status, gross income, including Social Security, and the # of your dependents, including yourself.
- The % of your gross income that you donate to charity
- Is taking a “Charitable Donation ” an important factor in you deciding who you give to?
- Do you attend a church, temple, or mosque? Weekly? Monthly? Occasionally?
- Do you discuss your “annual donations” practices with your friends — orally? In writing?
- Does it make you uncomfortable to discuss this topic? If so, why?
- What charities do you support, if any, in order of the portion they get from you, if any?
- What “good question” did we omit, that we should have included?
Send your request to take part in this Anonymous Survey to the address below.
John Barry moved to San Francisco from Boston in 1969. He always has found fulfillmen in "community activism." John has operated as "JackBarryRealtor" since 1979...and he is available here.