According to justgive.org, the “average American gives about 3.1 percent of his or her income to charity (before taxes). That’s well below the 10 percent tithing level recommended by religious institutions.” The Chronicle of Philanthropy breaks that down by zip code, which leads to inevitable political commentary. Personally, I came in well below the average—and far below the religiously recommended—for 2012 (around 2.5%). I did, however, donate to a wider variety of places this year:
- Boot Campaign
- Building a Goddam Tesla Museum, just up the road a ways
- Comic Book Legal Defense Fund
- Denver Center for the Performing Arts
- Electronic Frontier Foundation
- Leatherback Trust
- My high school alumni foundation, to give students iPads
- My local fire department
- National Public Radio
- Stony Brook Children’s Hospital
- Suffolk County Police Athletic League
- Wikimedia Foundation
I also helped kickstart quite a few projects this year. I get a product at the end of most of these, so they don’t really count as charity. A few, however, are either structured mostly as charities or I funded without selecting any “rewards”, such as the low cost land mine detonator, an Arduino-based public access satellite, something that may turn out to be the next generation of manned spaceflight, rescuing out of print science fiction and turning old shipping containers into farms.
I hope, by posting all this, you’ll find at least one thing you’d be interested in helping with a few bucks. I aim to do better myself next year.