Giving has many benefits. It can make you feel good, it can help others, it can make a difference in the world. We do a lot of giving in the United States (we actually lead in giving for the world!) and many great charities and organizations are giving their time, money, and resources to various issues and causes. We are not trying to discredit these organizations. We want to more focus on individual giving because we think that is where the biggest change and opportunity is. Many people think they are giving a lot, but really could be giving more and putting the money they are spending on other things, toward issues and causes they feel strongly about and could help make a difference. There are a lot of ways to take this discussion so we are just going to focus on a few areas.
Give First and 10%- You may or may not know that in the Bible there is something called the Tithe. What the Tithe entails is that you give 10% of the first money that you earned back to the Church. Some might say, why 10%? Why do I have to give it first? What if I have my own bills or issues that need to be taken care of? These are all valid questions that we think have some answers for.
1. Whether you give above 10% or below 10% is between God and yourself. 10% is a high of enough number where you feel it, but not high enough that you can not pay your regular expenses. The fact is you are giving a piece back of your income and a fairly substantial one at that.
2. When you give first that giving is built-in and becomes a habit. We will examine this further later on.
Materialism- If we choose to give 10% or not, the fact is we have more disposable income than we realize. This may be hard to accept, but we live in one of the richest if not the richest country in the world. We buy more than we know what to do with yet our giving percentage related to GDP is not near 10%, but less than 2%. The next time you want something or complain that something is not the way you want it to be, realize that you could make a trade-off of instead of buying that item or thing I could give this to insert whatever cause or charity you like.
Where Did My Money Go?- To follow up on our first point above, when you don’t give first, your money goes to other places that may or may not have been a top priority. It enables you to focus on other things first instead of having that built-in habit that you already know you have a set amount that you are going to give. Many times we say we want to give or we actually do, but it is the very little remains that we have left and when we feel like that is all is left, we sometimes decide against giving because that other money is “needed”.
Money Can Make a Difference- Whatever your thoughts are on money and capitalism remember that money does make a difference. It can also buy happiness to a certain extent but that is a topic for a different article! Well-funded organizations can do more it is that plain and simple. They can hire better people, make better products or have access to better resources, they can advertise more and better, the list goes on and on. If you are upset that the cause you support is smaller and the other one is much bigger, the only way to change that is to start supporting the smaller one. It may not seem like that will make much of a difference, but over time it will.
Summary- We are not trying to say that even we are perfect with this and that we give the “right” amount or as much as we can. We actually could do much better! What we want you to think about is when and how do you give? What excuses do you make for choosing not to give or how much to give? When you start to become aware of these things, giving can become easier. As we mentioned in our introduction, there are so many positives to giving that it is an area of our lives that we should want to improve on and make sure we are using our money to help shape the world we want.
Resources- While this is not meant to be an all encompassing list, these few websites affirmed the views we shared in the article. As the articles and report reference, giving is very hard to measure accurately but we could be doing a better job at it.