Someone anonymously guest posted on Monday for Len Penzo and had some strong things to say about donating to charity. Basically, he thinks that he’s given enough to charity and gives us 8 reasons why he wants to keep his money to himself.
Unfortunately, he is wrong. In fact, we should be donating MORE to charity. Here’s why:
1. Charity donations are tax-deductible.
Sure, some portion of taxes go to helping those in need (welfare, disaster relief, etc.), but if we donate $100, we get a large portion of that back if we list it as tax deductible. Suddenly your $100 donation is only $65. The point is to actually give the money away, remember?
2. Giving now is better than giving in the future.
It may seem like a small amount now, but a dollar today is worth more than a dollar tomorrow. Don’t wait until you’re super rich to give to charity. Your $100 now may have a larger impact on you now, but it also have a larger impact on the charity than if you waited 5 years to give that $100, when inflation knocks that value down to about $85.
3. You can double your contributions without doing any work.
Instead of simply sending off your money, why not find out if anyone is offering to match? Consumerism Commentary is matching charitable contributions at the moment (until December 11th), and sites like Donation Doubler have lists of companies that will match your charitable contribution. Find one you like and suddenly you contribution goes twice as far!
4. You really CAN make a difference.
J Money has been promoting Love Drop, and guess what? Your money won’t be wasted and he won’t be spending it all on beer (though maybe he wishes he could), instead it will go to someone who needs the help. Can you make any more of a difference than that?
5. You’re just going to blow it on something dumb anyway.
As pious as you are, there’s still extra money in your budget somewhere. Create a budget for charity donations, then some of your extra money (each month or each year) and donate it to charity. Use your spending money to make a difference instead of spending it on Brookstone goods you’ll use once. And if you think you don’t have enough, take that extra 2% you’ll be earning next year and put that toward a charity fund. For someone making $30,000, that’s about $500!
6. You’ll help yourself at the same time.
Studies show that when individuals spend money on gifts for friends or charitable organizations, their happiness increases while those who spend on themselves get no such boost. Even Scrooge can agree that everyone wins.
7. If you don’t help now, you never will.
Don’t pretend that instead of giving money, you’re going to donate time. When was the last time you volunteered at a soup kitchen? Don’t let your mind fall for this trick. Send the money now or you’ll end up giving nothing.
8. Be a leader, not a follower.
Since other people don’t donate, you don’t want to either? If your friends know you’re giving to charity, they’ll be encouraged as well. And your friends are probably in credit card debt, too. Are you sure you want to follow their lead?
Readers, What do you think? Which argument is more convincing? Should we be donating more or less this year?