Charity 2017

Back in 2012, I intended to start an annual post during “giving season” about where I was donating as a way to a) encourage donations to those places and b) to make myself accountable for donating each year. While I have been donating each year, posting about it hasn’t been done anywhere near annually.

Figuring out how much to donate is tricky, and I mostly go with my gut. I tend to be more generous with money than with time, which maybe isn’t great. I’ve also had the strange problem over the past two years that some of my donation checks have never been cashed, causing me to drop some charities. As a percentage of pre-tax income, I’ve done a bit better this year, maybe around 4%. My list of targeted charities continues to expand as well:

Charity 2012

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:

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.