Hey Taylor - I always get inspired to give at the end of one year/beginning of the next. A couple of questions: do you have any thoughts about giving anonymously versus publicly? And suggestions for how I can remember to give more consistently throughout the year?
Hey Amy - Glad you’re in the giving spirit! Anyone who follows this column knows what a big proponent I am of tithing and giving in general. It’s a very personal thing, so I’m not going to tell you how to do it, but I will encourage you to do it as regularly as possible.
Give ten percent. No matter the income level, I always encourage people to give 10% of their earnings back to either their church, community, or charity of their choice. This represents a significant but not excessive percentage of your earnings, and it’s a nice round number. When you’re able to factor the amount into your budget, it makes it that much easier to give on a monthly basis. That will take the pressure off of doing it once a year and often eliminates the excuse of feeling too strapped for cash during the holidays.
Give thoughtfully. It’s an absolute blessing and privilege to be able to donate funds to people and causes in need. It should never come from a place of guilt, only from love, service, and a commitment to helping those around us. Giving to your church might be a natural place to start, or you can take some time to research local and global organizations working on issues that concern you. Your contributions can have a very real impact; when you give purposefully, you’ll be able to see and feel the good you’re doing.
Public or anonymous donations? Honestly, it’s whichever you prefer. I understand the hesitation to attach your name, as though that makes the donation some kind of shameless self-plug. However, publicly announcing your donation can often elevate a group or charity. It might inspire your friends to give as well. If you’d like to keep your donations anonymous, there’s nothing wrong with that (as long as you don’t spend the rest of the year bragging about what a generous “anonymous” donor you are). If you’re giving for the right reasons, you really don’t need to worry about the other details. You can’t help how other people perceive you, so just honor your integrity and do what you can to help others.
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