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Giving to Charity ... How Much?

For many people the concept of giving back to society is not natural, and for some it is very natural. Likely those who take to it easily come from families where their parents gave, or they were influenced by people who gave.

I have blogged about "giving" many times ... one of those was called Charitable Giving ... Your Responsibility but if you look back through my blog entries (or search) you'll find many references to charities.

The purpose today is to talk about how much ... what is a reasonable amount to give based upon your income?

When we start out in our career it is a perfect time to begin developing the habit of giving ... it doesn't need to be a lot. But if you give $5 a month ($60 a year) that can make a difference in people's lives, and it is not an amount that you will miss in your income ... particularly because you could a tax receipt for it. (So really it only costs you about $40 in a year here in Canada).

As you progress through your career you could choose to increase your donations in line with your income, so if you get a 10% raise then give the charities a 10% raise too ... here we are talking $6 a year (of which you get $2 back from the taxman). If you develop this habit then you will be contributing at a good level throughout your life.

What about people who come to the table late in life ... it can be a little bit of sticker shock to suddenly add a $5,000 item to your spending but you can work up to it AND you can rationalize it AND it IS the right thing to do.

If you have a six figure income and are not giving at that $1,000 plus level then you probably should think about it. With the tax break it will only cost you 1/2% of your income, so really 1% of income should be a "no brainer" ... give $2,000!

Go and visit the charities that get the money and see what great work they are doing.

Get involved and donate time to these charities, you'll quickly develop an appreciation for "giving" and those who give.

Be generous if for no other reason than it WILL come back to you, in some way or other. The most successful people are typically generous with charities.

Last thought ... if you have not given this much consideration in the past then make 2010 the year you start to give back to Canadian society ... its the best in the world and it needs all of us to keep it that way.